Check spices. Some are dated. Some spices don’t have as long a shelf life as others. Spices don’t spoil, they lose flavor intensity. If the color appears faded, the intensity probably is also.
Here’s guidelines for some:
Ground spices such as nutmeg, cinnamon, turmeric, 2 to 3 years.
Basil, oregano, dried parsley, 1 to 2 years.
Whole spices, 4 to 5 years.
Poppy seeds and sesame seeds, 2 years.
Check flours. You should throw out flour once a year if you don’t use it often. Whole wheat or soy flour will keep longer stored in your refrigerator or freezer, because the oil in the flour causes it to become rancid faster than regular flour. Just be sure to allow cold flours to come to room temperature before using.
It is wise to transfer flour from its paper package to an air-tight opaque container.
Check your freezer. Toss frozen foods that may have opened or developed serious freezer burn.
Patricia Altomare invites feedback. Email her at email@example.com.