PANTRY FRESHNESS GUIDE

An organized and well-stocked pantry can be an asset to a home chef. Ensure yours is always at it’s freshest with these helpful, suggested guidelines.


The last thing you want when cooking your favorite meal is it’s taste or quality being affected by an ingredient that’s past it’s prime.

Generally speaking, most pantry items can have a long shelf life if properly stored. Always use airtight containers and notate on them the date the contents were first used. This is helpful since the shelf life for these items is typically lower than those that haven’t been opened. Refrigeration can also help extend both the life and quality of many pantry items.

PANTRY FRESHNESS GUIDE:

  • Baking Powder – Shelf life of 6-12 months.
  • Baking Soda – Unopened containers have a shelf life of 2 years. Opened containers have a shelf life of 6 months.
  • Barbecue Sauce – Shelf life of one year.
  • Canned Fruit – Shelf life of 18 months.
  • Canned Soup – Shelf life of 2-5 years.
  • Canned Vegetables – Shelf life of 2-5 years. Canned tomatoes have a shelf life of 18 months.
  • Chocolate – Milk and white have a shelf life of 1 year. Dark has a shelf life of 2 years.
  • Dried Beans – Does not expire but use within 1-2 years for best quality.
  • Dried Fruits – Shelf life of 6-12 months. Check regularly to ensure dryness.
  • Dried Oats – Unopened containers have a shelf life of 1-2 years.
  • Flour – Shelf life of up to 8 months if stored in airtight container. May also be stored in freezer to prolong freshness.
  • Honey – Does not expire.
  • Jam/Jelly/Preserves – Shelf life of 6-18 months.
  • Ketchup – Shelf life of 1 year.
  • Maple Syrup – Shelf life of 1 year. May also be stored in refrigerator to prolong freshness.
  • Mayonnaise – Shelf life of 3-6 months.
  • Molasses – Unopened containers have a shelf life of 2 years. Opened containers have a shelf life of 6 months.
  • Mustard – Shelf life of 1-2 years.
  • Nuts – Store in freezer rather than pantry to prolong freshness.
  • Oil – Discard if it smells rancid.
  • Pasta – Shelf life of 2-3 years.
  • Pasta Sauce – Unopened containers have a shelf life of 12-18 months.
  • Peanut Butter – Unopened containers have a shelf life of 6-24 months. Opened containers have a shelf life of 2-3 months. May also be stored in refrigerator to prolong freshness.
  • Pickles – Shelf life of 1 year.
  • Rice – Most varieties have a shelf life of 2 years. Brown rice has a shelf life of 6 months.
  • Salad Dressing – Shelf life of 9-12 months.
  • Salt – Does not expire but use within 5 years for best quality.
  • Spices– Unopened containers have a shelf life of 2-3 years. Opened containers have a shelf life of 1 year.
  • Sugar – While it will not spoil, it’s suggested you discard after 2 years.
  • Vinegars – Does not expire but use within 2-5 years for best quality.

Keep in mind, this is purely a guide of recommended shelf life for your pantry items. Use your best judgement if you decide to keep food around longer than this.

ORANGE & FIELD TIP: When it comes to our pantry, we like to stick to the old saying, “when in doubt, throw it out.”