Paula Scott and Lisa Morby with the Utah State Extension tell us what to be aware of when it comes to expiration dates.
Can it still be used? How should it be stored?
Chocolate: If the chocolate has a white layer on the surface (“blooming”), it may not work well for dipping. Chocolate chips can still be used in cookies. Chocolate should be stored in a cool place. Chips and baking bits can be frozen.
Nuts: The oil in nuts can go rancid quickly. If the nuts smell bad, chances are they’ll taste bad as well. Discard any nuts that appear moldy. Nuts should be stored in an air-tight container away from heat and light. Nuts can be frozen.
Baking Powder: Baking powder contains baking soda and a powdered acid. Baking powder loses its leavening power as it sits. Baking soda does not go bad. Baking powder should be stored in the original container away from heat and moisture. Most baking powders are stable for 1 year.
Spices: Ground spices such as ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg lose flavor over time. More of the spice can be used to get the desired flavor intensity. Spices should be stored in a cool place. Whole spices can be frozen and ground when needed.
Extracts and Oils: Extracts contain alcohol, which makes their flavor stable for a long time. Flavored oils may become rancid, but this is unusual. Extracts can be stored at room temperature. Oils can be refrigerated to maintain flavor.
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