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General Shelf Lives For Common Items

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(From The Food Marketing Institute In Washington DC)

1.) Flour unopened: up to 12 months. Opened: 6-8 months.
2.) Whole Wheat Flour unopened: 1 month. Opened: 6-8 months if refrigerated.
3.) Sugar unopened: 2 years. Sugars do not spoil but eventually may change flavor.
4.) Brown sugar unopened: 4 months.
5.) Confectioners sugar unopened: 18 months.
6.) Solid shortening unopened: 8 months. Opened: 3 months.
7.) Cocoa unopened: indefinitely. opened: 1 year.
8.) Whole spices: 2-4 years. Whether or not opened.
9.) Ground spices: 2-3 years. Whether or not opened.
10.) Paprika, red pepper and chili powder: 2 years when kept in refrigerator.
11.) High acid canned items such as fruit juice, tomato soup and things in vinegar unopened: 12-18 months.
12.) Baking soda unopened: 18 months. Opened: 6 `months.
13.) Baking powder unopened: 6 months. Opened: 3 months.
14.) Cornstarch: 18 months. Whether or not opened.
15.) Dry pasta made without eggs unopened: 2 years. Opened: 1 year.
16.) Dry egg noodles unopened: 2 years. Opened: 1-2 months.
17.) Salad dressing unopened: 10-12 months. Opened: 3 months if refrigerated.
18.) Low acid canned items such as soup, meats, gravy and vegetables unopened: 2-5 years.
19.) Honey: 1 year. Weather or not opened.
20.) Worcestershire sauce: 1 year. Weather or not opened.
21.) Ground, canned coffee unopened: 2 years. Opened: 2 weeks, if refrigerated.
22.) Instant coffee in jars or tins unopened: 12 months. Opened: 3 months.
23.) Bottled water unopened: 1-2 years. Opened: 3 months.
24.) Pudding mixes unopened: 1 year. Opened: 4 months.
25.) Jams, jellies and preserves unopened: 1 year. Opened: 6 months if refrigerated.
26.) Peanut butter unopened: 6-9 months. Opened: 2-3 months.