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Food Storage - How long can you keep...

BLACK PEPPER, GROUND, DRIED, COMMERCIALLY BOTTLED OR PURCHASED IN BULK - UNOPENED OR OPENED

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3-4 years (best quality)

Tips

  • How long does ground black pepper last? The precise answer depends to a large extent on storage conditions —to maximize the shelf life of ground black pepper store in a cool, dark cupboard, away from direct heat or sunlight.
  • How long does ground black pepper last at room temperature? Properly stored, ground black pepper will generally stay at best quality for about 3 to 4 years.
  • To maximize the shelf life of ground black pepper purchased in bulk, and to better retain flavor and potency, store in containers with tight-fitting lids.
  • Is ground black pepper safe to use after the "expiration" date on the package? Yes, provided it is properly stored and the package is undamaged — commercially packaged ground black pepper will typically carry a "Best By," "Best if Used By," "Best Before," or "Best When Used By" date but this is not a safety date, it is the manufacturer's estimate of how long the ground black pepper will remain at peak quality.
  • Does ground black pepper ever spoil? No, commercially packaged ground black pepper does not spoil, but it will start to lose potency over time and not flavor food as intended - the storage time shown is for best quality only.
  • How can you tell if ground black pepper is still good? To test whether ground black pepper is still potent enough to be effective: Rub or crush a small amount in your hand, then taste and smell it - if the aroma is weak and the flavor is not obvious, the ground black pepper should be replaced.

Sources: For details about data sources used for food storage information, please click here

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