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Food Storage - How long can you keep...

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

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3-4 years (best quality)

Tips

  • How long do whole black peppercorns last? The precise answer depends to a large extent on storage conditions - to maximize the shelf life of whole black peppercorns store in a cool, dark cupboard, away from direct heat or sunlight.
  • How long do whole black peppercorns last at room temperature? Properly stored, whole black peppercorns will generally stay at best quality for about 3 to 4 years.
  • To maximize the shelf life of whole black peppercorns purchased in bulk, and to better retain flavor and potency, store in containers with tight-fitting lids.
  • Are whole black peppercorns safe to use after the "expiration" date on the package? Yes, provided they are properly stored and the package is undamaged - commercially packaged whole black peppercorns 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 whole black peppercorns will remain at peak quality.
  • Do whole black peppercorns ever spoil? No, commercially packaged whole black peppercorns do not spoil, but they 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 whole black peppercorns are still good? To test whether whole black peppercorns are still potent enough to be effective: Rub or crush a small amount in your hand, then taste and smell them - if the aroma is weak and the flavor is not obvious, the whole black peppercorns should be replaced.

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

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