Shelf Life of Your Pantry Items

It’s good to have a stocked pantry, but know how long each item lasts

1. Dried pasta: Up to 2 years

“Pasta is a staple of every pantry, and when stored properly, some say it can last indefinitely. However, for the best quality, the USDA and most sources recommend keeping pasta no more than two years. Store it in an airtight container (the sealed box is also fine) in a cool, dry place, as the pasta is affected by extreme temperatures and humidity. You should also toss expired dried pasta if the noodles appear blotchy or discolored.” –Buzzfeed

2. Canned goods: Up to 2 years

“Canned tomato sauce or tomatoes keep for 12 to 18 months. Low-acid foods like canned green beans may keep for longer — but a good rule of thumb is to throw out any cans that are more than two years old. You’ll also want to store canned foods and other shelf stable products in a cool, dry place.” –Buzzfeed

3. Olive oil: Up to 20 months

“Olive oil should be used within 20 months, although most say you shouldn’t keep more than 1 to 2 months’ worth at a time. There are three important things to keep away from olive oil: heat, light, and air. It’s best to store olive oil in a dark-tinted glass or ceramic container with a pour top or tight-sealing cap.” –Buzzfeed

4. Baking powder: 6 to 12 months

“Baking powder’s sensitivity to moisture leads to an early expiration date. Luckily, there’s an easy way to test the freshness of your baking powder: Simply combine some hot water with a teaspoon of baking powder. If the powder fizzes, keep it; if not, toss it.” –Buzzfeed

5. Whole-grain rice: Up to 6 months

“Whole-grain rice and milled rice have very different shelf lives. Whole-grain (brown, red, or black) rice deteriorates faster than milled rice (white, parboiled or pre-cooked) because of the oils in its natural bran layer. When stored in an airtight container, whole-grain rice has a shelf life of 6 months. To make it last longer, stash it in the refrigerator or freezer. On the other hand, if stored properly, milled rice(white, parboiled or pre-cooked) will keep almost indefinitely on the pantry shelf.” –Buzzfeed

6. White and whole-grain flours: 6 to 9 months, and up to 3 months, respectively

“Like rice, whole-grain flour doesn’t last as long as white flour because the oils from the germ and bran become rancid with age. However, neither last forever. Whole-grain flour will keep for about 3 months and white flour will keep for 6 to 9 months. For the best shelf life, store flour in an airtight container in a cupboard or dry, cool area.” –Buzzfeed

7. Spices: 6 to 12 months

“There are varying opinions on the shelf life of spices, and it all comes down to safety versus quality. Whole spices generally last longer than ground spices. While spices are still safe to eat for up to 4 years, we recommend ideally replacing them every year.” –Buzzfeed