When cinnamon (or other spices) is past its "best by" date, I know that the flavor and potency will be less strong. However, is it still safe to use it on food?

(This came up because a co-worker asked me today whether he would be safe eating cinnamon that expired five years ago on a sweet potato at lunch. Why he has a very old container of cinnamon -- indeed, any cinnamon -- in his desk drawer, I didn't get around to asking.)

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    Related question here. Dry spices in general are not a good growth medium for any bacteria, so unless they have degraded visibly in poor storage conditions (e.g., visible mold/mildew in a humid place), they are exceedingly unlikely to pose a food safety hazard.
    – Athanasius
    Dec 6, 2015 at 0:11

1 Answer 1


Yes it will probably be safe, but it might not be very good. Keep in mind if a sweet potato is cooked properly it doesn't need any seasoning at all. Bake it until it's dark on the outer layer of flesh and the potato will be so sweet you'll wonder why you don't cook it that way all the time.

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