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Does black pepper expire?

I have two containers of black pepper that i have had for many at least 5 years now. I still use them. They smell ok. Taste ok. Just wondering if anybody knows if they have a definite shelf life? There is no date on the containers, btw.


Asked by Anonymous at 2:50 PM on Jan. 26, 2009 in Food & Drink

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Answers (6)
  • They don't really go "bad"...they just lose their flavor. You may think they taste ok, but get some fersh pepper and grind it and you'll see an immense difference in flavor.

    Answer by jespeach at 4:22 PM on Jan. 26, 2009

  • If they don't have expration date on them I don't think they expire:)

    Answer by lmoots at 2:56 PM on Jan. 26, 2009

  • As long as they haven't gotten wet, still smell and taste fine..I wouldn't worry about it. I don't use pre-ground pepper much anymore. I gring my own. Mine is old too but it is still okay. Some one will freak out and tell you "oh throw it away it expires in one year" Trust your gut. If you can afford to toss it, do so. It isn't going to just won't have quite the bang of fresh.

    Answer by GrnEyedGrandma at 2:56 PM on Jan. 26, 2009

  • All I can find online is that ground spices last 3-4 years. Pepper isn't singled out as an exception. I keep ground pepper for much longer than that .

    Answer by Bmat at 3:23 PM on Jan. 26, 2009

  • If it seems okay, I keep using it. They talk a good game about spices expiring, but I actually have spices that are over 20 years old that I'm still using. They work fine for me. I think mostly it's a ploy to make you throw out perfectly good spices and buy more.

    Answer by roachiesmom at 3:39 PM on Jan. 26, 2009

  • They usually don't taste good after 6 months. That's when you should throw it out, but I don't think it has anything to do with it being bad for you, just the taste.

    Answer by feesharose at 4:06 PM on Jan. 26, 2009

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