Does salt have an expiration date?

In this brief guide, we will answer the question “Does salt have an expiration date?” and discuss its shelf life. We will also discuss how to properly store salt and if taking too much salt is bad for you. We will also give you some tips on how to cut down salt from your diet.

Does salt have an expiration date?

No pure salt does not have an expiration date but table salt does come with a ‘best before’ date. Salt is a natural preservative. Pure salt  (NaCl) does not go bad. Salt generally lacks moisture which makes it very hard for bacteria to survive on it.

However, table salt that has other chemicals added to it may go bad. The salt itself does not go bad, but the chemical may go bad. One example of these chemicals is iodine which is added to salt to prevent goiter, a thyroid disease. 

This is why table salt comes with the best before date. It still does not mean that the salt will be harmful if used. Instead the chemicals may just not provide the benefits that they were meant to provide.

What is the shelf life or iodized salt?

While pure salt can last indefinitely, it is advisable to use iodized salt within five years. It may even be fine to use this salt after 5 years.

How to properly store salt and pepper?

Salt should be kept in a cool, dry place away from heat and light. You should keep it away from the stovetop and appliances that produce heat such as the fridge. Since salt is used in almost every recipe for seasoning, you can keep it on a rack on your countertop or in the pantry. 

As for salt, it is very important to keep salt away from moisture as it is hygroscopic in nature and tends to absorb moisture. If it does, the salt will clump up. 

How to tell if salt has gone bad?

As explained above, salt does not really go bad but salt can absorb odors from the surroundings so you might not want to use this kind of salt. Also, look for any bugs and infestations in the salt.

Is taking too much salt bad for you?

Yes, taking too much salt in your diet is bad for you. An average human only needs about 1500 milligrams of sodium per day and if you consume more than this on a regular basis, you may face some immediate and long term side effects of it.

Although sodium and chloride both are essential for the body to maintain the electrolyte balance and proper nerve function, you should take it in moderation.

Some short term effects of taking too much salt are as follows.

  • Taking too much salt can lead to water retention in your body. You may feel like your stomach is bloated and your hands, feet or face is puffy. You may even weigh more than before due to all the water weight.
  • It can also cause a rise in your blood pressure.
  • It can make you feel so thirsty because a lot of sodium can leave you dehydrated so you end up drinking a lot of water.
  • Your urine frequency may also increase because since the sodium will leave you dehydrated, you will be drinking a lot more water.

Find out more about the harmful effects of taking too much salt here.

How to cut out salt from your diet?

  • Cut down on processed foods like chips, ready made meals, pastas, and sugary drinks.
  • Make your meals at home from scratch and add less salt.
  • Use spices other than salt to make your dish flavorful.
  • Make it a habit of eating less salty foods.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question “Does salt have an expiration date?” and discussed its shelf life. We also discussed how to properly store salt and if taking too much salt is bad for you. We also gave you some tips on how to cut down salt from your diet.

Citations

https://www.insider.com/foods-that-you-can-keep-for-a-decade-2018-4#sea-salt-2
https://www.stilltasty.com/fooditems/index/16546
https://www.webmd.com/diet/ss/slideshow-too-much-salt#:~:text=Long%2DTerm%20Effects%20of%20Too%20Much%20Salt&text=It%20might%20raise%20your%20chances,%2C%20stomach%20cancer%2C%20and%20stroke.

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.