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Cleaning The Kitchen Cupboard - Can This Be Saved?

Baking Powder

  • 12 to 18 months or expiration date on container
  • Storage Tip: Store tightly covered in a dry place. Make sure measuring utensils are dry before dipping into the container.
  • Testing for Freshness: Mix 1 teaspoon baking powder with 1/3 cup hot water. If it foams vigorously, it still has rising power.

Baking Soda

  • 12 to 18 months or expiration date on container
  • Storage Tip: Store tightly covered in a dry place. Make sure measuring utensils are dry before dipping them into the container.
  • Testing for Freshness: Place 1 1/2 teaspoons in a small bowl. Add 1 tablespoon vinegar. If it fizzes, then it will still help leaven a food. If it doesn't fizz, use it as an odor catcher in the refrigerator.

Canned Foods

  • 1 to 2 years
  • Storage Tip #1: The Canned Food Alliance ( recommends eating canned food within 2 years of PROCESSING for best quality. Many cans will include a "for best quality use by" date stamped somewhere on the can.
  • In a well run and busy store there should be a fairly constant turnover of canned goods, with cans on the shelf only a short time before you purchase them, according to the Canned Food Alliance. Some products contain a code, which varies among companies, that identifies the production date. If you have a concern over how old a food is, call the company's toll-free number (if listed on the can) or write to the address on the can.
  • Storage Tip #2: Avoid refrigerating OPENED canned foods in their can. Food can develop an off-odor from the can, once opened.


  • 12 months
  • Storage Tip: Honey stores best at room temperature. It tends to crystallize more rapidly, a natural process in which its liquid turns solid, in the refrigerator.

    Revitalizing Crystallized Honey: The National Honey Board ( recommends revitalizing crystallized honey by placing the jar in warm water and stirring the honey until the crystals dissolve.


  • 3 to 8 months opened; 8 to 12 months unopened
  • Storage Tip #1: Store in a tightly closed container in a cool, dark place.
  • Storage Tip #2: Shortening that has been stored too long will go rancid and develop an undesirable taste and odor. If you haven't used a shortening for a while, smell it before using it in a recipe.

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Last Modified: 11/28/11.