Salt pot. (Photo by: BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
Food - Drink
Does Anything Actually Happen When Salt Passes Its Best-By Date?
Salt is one of the few food items that need little help when it comes to staying fresh — in fact, many of us believe that salt lasts forever, much like honey. However, many brands of salt come with a best-by date on the label, and this is a look at what really happens when salt ages past its expiration date, even by multiple years.
Pure salt never expires because it contains no water, but many types of salt extra ingredients that can degrade in quality. For example, unrefined sea salt could contain algae, the pink hue of Himalayan salt comes from mineral-based impurities, and table salt often comes with an anti-caking agent and iodine as additives.
Even with additives, the best-by dates on salt rarely mean that it will "spoil" or become dangerous to eat, since the microbes that cause food poisoning cannot survive in salt. However, anti-caking agents lose efficacy after about five years and iodine gradually dissipates in salt, so age does have effects on its quality and nutritional value.