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Right here’s How Lengthy Shelf-Steady Pantry Objects Really Final

When you open these merchandise, although, there are some things to bear in mind: Pastas and different flour-based dried merchandise will diminish in taste and texture the longer they’re uncovered to air—and might even appeal to undesirable pests like pantry moths and rodents if left of their unique containers at room temperature, Syers says. 

Listed below are some primary use-by pointers for the commonest wheat-based pantry merchandise from

  • Breadcrumbs: 12 months unopened; as much as 6 months after opening 
  • Cereal: 12 months unopened; 2 to three months after opening
  • Pasta: 2 years unopened; as much as 1 yr after opening
  • Flour: 12 months unopened; 6 to eight months after opening
  • Crackers: 8 months unopened; 1 month after opening
  • Oats: 8 months unopened; 4 months after opening
  • Quinoa: 2 to three years unopened; as much as 6 months after opening

Dried and freeze-dried fruit

Dried fruits have a life span of six months unopened and only one month after opening. A hint quantity of remaining moisture in merchandise like these is the explanation for his or her comparatively quick life span, Syers says. Nonetheless, analysis reveals that freeze-dried fruit, so long as it stays unactivated by liquid, can retain each its taste and nutrient profile for a yr or extra—and probably longer when saved at reasonable temperatures, restricted humidity, and in an hermetic container. 


Though you’ll have mustard and ketchup taking over shelf house in your fridge, Dr. Amalaradjou says they don’t must. “Due to [their] pure acidity, ketchup and mustard are shelf-stable.” Nonetheless, she provides that although they gained’t technically go dangerous at room temperature, refrigerating after opening will preserve the standard of those components longer.  

Though these condiments have lengthy life spans, others—particularly people who comprise components like eggs and cream, like mayonnaise and ranch dressing—have shorter lives: 

  • Ketchup: 1 yr unopened; 6 months refrigerated after opening
  • Mustard: 2 years unopened; 1 yr refrigerated after opening
  • Sizzling sauce: as much as 2 years unopened; 6 months opened and saved at room temperature; 1 to 2 years refrigerated after opening
  • Vinegar: practically indefinite unopened; 2 years saved at room temperature after opening
  • Mayonnaise: 3 to six months unopened; 2 months refrigerated after opening
  • Salad dressing: 10 to 12 months unopened; 1 to three months refrigerated after opening

Sugar and sweeteners

Syers says that you’ve got plenty of leeway in the case of the life span of sweeteners like sugar. Sugar will be safely consumed indefinitely, however it gained’t style nearly as good (or operate as nicely in your baking) after two years. Equally, brown sugar, honey, and agave are all fit for human consumption just about without end, however you’ll discover modifications in style and texture the older they get.

Pickled meals

Shelf-stable pickles must be eaten inside one yr from the date of buy for the very best quality and can final one to 3 months within the fridge after opening, in accordance with Syers. He provides that different pickled meals and components preserved in brine, like olives, peppers, or giardiniera, have related life spans as nicely. 

Sweetened preserves

Due to the excessive quantity of sugar that they comprise, sweetened preserves like jelly, jam, and marmalade have a formidable shelf lifetime of 6 to 18 months when unopened and 6 to 12 months if refrigerated after opening. Decreased-sugar varieties, although, might develop mould extra shortly than their sweeter counterparts. 

Broths and shares

“For high quality, rooster or vegetable broth must be utilized by the date on the package deal and three to 4 days within the fridge if opened,” Syers explains. Dry bouillon cubes or powder will final fairly a bit longer as a result of the shortage of moisture prevents pathogens from forming. He says that components like this can final one yr unopened and one yr after opening earlier than the flavour begins to decrease.  

Baking powder and soda 

Baking powder and soda can hold for some time, however dangle on to them too lengthy and chances are you’ll discover some points with baking, Syers says. Should you hold them longer than the time frames listed under, your muffins and cookies might not rise as a lot—however, regardless of their diminished high quality, they’re unlikely to trigger any meals security issues, Syers provides.

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