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January 17th, 2008

McCormick Spice Checker

As you may know, grocery store spice standby McCormick has a nifty web site called Spice Check Challenge, where you can check the age of your McCormick spices. Enter in the code on the bottle (or tin if it’s really old) and the city name (if it’s Baltimore, it’s at least 15 years old) and you’ll (usually) be able to find out what date your spice was manufactured. They say you should replace spices every six months, but in my experience, that’s a tad overzealous. We’ve used spices that are a couple of years old and though they’re less potent, they’re still alright in a pinch.

I tried this when I visited my parents house over the holidays knowing that they had some old spice tins still in the pantry. The winner, from what we could tell, was paprika that was manufactured on June 6, 1982. 1982! I was six at the time!

The tin is still in the pantry and will probably remain there until I die (because I will, of course, inherit it).

Posted in Food and Beverage

Andy January 17, 2008, 4:55 pm

…alright in a pinch?

How about in a teaspoon? What about other quantities?

melissa February 15, 2008, 10:33 pm

I found a tin of double superfine mustard in my Grandmas pantry made on May 12, 1980. That was 7 yrs before i was born.

L J Cook December 10, 2008, 4:48 pm

I’m an archaeologist. Most of the McCormick extract and spice containers I’ve found were made before my parents were born.

Jack Simmons October 14, 2009, 12:24 am

I was extremely confused by the McCormick ad. If their spices (minus black pepper) are older than 15 years, why on earth would I buy McCormick spices ever

again, even WITH a dollar off coupon? I don’t care if their competitors’ spices are even older; McCormick coming forward and telling me (and the world) that their

spices are at least 15 years old, is a definite deal killer. Sorry McCormick, you have definitely lost more than a few customers with this “brilliant” bit of advertising!

At 15 years old, it’s no longer a spice… it’s compost.

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