How long after purchase do dried herbs and spices remain good to use?

The shelf life of dried spices and herbs varies, though spices generally keep longer than herbs do.
Good-quality herbs will stay fresh for about a year or so when stored properly. Good-quality ground spices will keep for about 6-12 months. Whole spices will keep much longer when stored carefully. In general, the warmer the climate, the shorter the shelf life.
Here are some general rules of thumb:
  • Ground spices: 6-12 months
  • Whole spices: 1-3 years
  • Green leafy herbs: 1-3 years
  • Seeds: 3-4 years
  • Seasoning blends: 1-2 years
Desi at The Spice House, Evanston, Illinois

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