Spring has sprung, and sadly that means it's time for spring cleaning - unless you're a neat freak, and this is your favorite time of year.
One place to start tidying up your kitchen is your pantry.
I know I'm guilty of leaving some things in there way past their expiry date.
I even have fresh baking supplies standing next to the old, stale box that I never use.
But McCormick Spice is warning their customers to be on the lookout for old spices on their racks.
If you see this on the label, throw it away
In a Facebook post last week, McCormick told their customers to be on the lookout for "Baltimore, MD" on their spice labels.
The popular spice company moved their factories to Hunt Valley, Maryland 25 years ago, so if your spices still say Baltimore they're really old.
Another giveaway that your spices should be tossed: McCormick only makes black pepper in those old fashioned metal tins these days.
Any other McCormick spices packaged in a metal tin are at least two decades old.
I'll admit I was surprised by this warning, because I assumed spices couldn't expire.
In fact, your spice rack is probably long overdue for an update.
When do spices expire?
Spices don't really "go bad," and you probably won't get sick from eating any old spices in your pantry.
But you also won't get much flavor from dry, worn-out spice.
Every flavor and variety is different, but most spices should be replaced every three years.
Herbs and seasoning blends should be replaced even sooner, every year or two.
Meanwhile whole spices like cinnamon can last up to four years on your shelf.
McCormick says to check your spices regularly for a strong aroma, taste, and vibrant color.
Oh, and every package includes a handy "best by" date as well. But you shouldn't always trust those...
When should you follow expiry dates?
Whether you treat "best before" dates as a rule or a helpful suggestion are really up to you.
Sell by or display by dates are only for store employees, and don't refer to how fresh your food is.
Food is usually safe to eat after a best before date, but check for mold, foul smells and taste before trying too much.
But don't take chances with use by dates, which are more serious.
You also shouldn't take any chances with expired products like meat, fish, baby formula, medicines, meal replacements and diet supplements.
When's the last time you replaced your spice rack? Are you afraid to check now?