Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >
Nov 25, 2009 08:20 PM

Does salt really "expire"

In going through my salt supply for turkey brining, I found some w/shockingly old dates and wondered if salt really expires or loses its strength -- kosher, coarse sea salt, sel gris, sea star brittany gray, etc.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Salt is one of those things that never goes bad or loses its potency...I have salt that I've had at least five long as it stays dry it's good.

    1. How can it "expire"....this Himalayan Sea Salt is 250 million years old.

      2 Replies
      1. re: monku

        So if Sarah holds on to her salt for 250 million years, it'll really be worth something!

        1. re: Muskrat

          Not sure, this company claims their underground salt is 280 million years old.

      2. No, it doesn't. Where were the "shockingly old dates" - I've never seen "best before" dates on salt. It's a chemical compound (yes, even the expensive ones) that's pretty stable, as long as you store it properly it won't change over time.

        2 Replies
        1. re: hsk

          Among others, I have an unopened box of Morton's Coarse Kosher Salt, undated -- and a container of fin sel gris marked on bottom w/ lot number 2900 12/2004. They have been stored in a cabinet undisturbed all these many years.

          1. re: Sarah

            That's just when it was packed. Not a "best before" date. All salt is fine even if you've had it for years. Just if it's old and improperly stored it might be more like a block. It's still fine to use, you just might have to chip off pieces :)

        2. Salt is a rock. Ever seen a rock with a freshness date?

          2 Replies
            1. re: Hank Hanover


              and considering salt is used to preserve foods, I would hope it lasts a while itself ..

          1. Those dates might be he expiration dates of the packaging's integrity, e.g., ability to keep moisture out, etc. to hold the salt in its original condition.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Melanie Wong

              The date is probably when the salt was packaged and the lot # identifies where and when that batch was harvested.

              1. re: monku

                Actually I just looked at some smoked salt I have on hand. It has a date of 8/2009, and I know that I purchased it in 2008. So in this case, not a packaging date.

                1. re: Melanie Wong

                  Probably a clever marketing ploy to sell more product. Although maybe smoked salt loses its smokiness over time (I've never tried it). It definitely wouldn't lose its saltiness.

                  1. re: hsk

                    WORD. There are no real regulations on the majority of 'best before' dates. Often it is there to scare a consumer into pitching perfectly good stuff. Marketing, I say!