Most of the spices sold in the supermarket doesn't have expiration date and many times most of us use it as much and discard after it ends. But that is not the right approach. The McCormick spice company has come with up with a good article to check the age of the spices. If you bought McCormick Spices before and want to see whether it has expired or not, they have come with a Date Code Decoder. With this decoder, you can determine exactly when they were manufactured. Go to the above link, you can find the decoder. Just find the letters in the spices bottle, tin and you can estimate the manufactured date and its expiration.
Here are some tips recommended by them:
* Check to see that the color of your spices and herbs is vibrant. If the color has faded, chances are so has the flavor.
* Rub or crush the spice or herb in your hand. If the aroma is weak and flavor is not apparent, it's time to replace it.
* Store herbs and spices in a tightly capped container, and keep away from heat, moisture, and direct sunlight. Replace bottle lids tightly immediately after use.
* To minimize moisture and caking, use a dry measuring spoon and avoid sprinkling directly into a steaming pot.
* Check the freshness date on the bottom or right side of the bottle to help keep track of when it's time to T.O.S.S.
Here is the picture that gives a rough estimate of the shelf life of the spices. The Company has said all the new spices manufactured have expiration date, so you don't have to worry about the Date Code Decoder, only for the old manufactured items. I have to check my kitchen rack to make sure they are not expired, one doesn't want to get stomach upset because of expired spices.
If you follow any good tips of keeping the spices fresh or how to determine they are bad, let us know.