Salt has been around since prehistoric times and was used as early as 3200 BC to cure meat and preserve food.
Today, we still use salt for cooking and seasoning our meals.
But what happens when salt goes bad?
You may be surprised to find out that salt does not actually expire.
This means that there is no date on which salt will stop being effective or lose its flavor.
How long does salt last?
There is no expiration date on salt because salt is not intended to spoil.
Instead, it loses its effectiveness over time due to oxidation (the process by which oxygen reacts with certain substances).
This doesn’t mean that you should toss out an entire bag of salt after a month.
It takes longer than that for salt to become useless.
Some experts estimate that salt lasts anywhere between 2-3 years after opening, depending on how often you use it.
Does salt go bad?
The short answer is “no.”
Salt does not get moldy, rot, or turn into something else.
It just becomes less effective at preserving foods, so you might notice that it has lost its flavor or you won’t be able to season your food as well.
Even though salt does not actually go bad, it’s important to keep track of how long you’ve had it stored to make sure you don’t accidentally buy expired salts.
If you do, you could risk getting sick from eating spoiled food.
How can you tell if salt is bad?
A lot of factors determine how long salt lasts.
For example, the type of salt you buy matters.
You want to choose a high-quality salt that contains iodine to help protect against bacteria growth.
Also, the packaging and storage conditions matter.
For instance, if you store your salt in a dark place, then the salt will stay fresh for longer.
Some experts recommend keeping your salt in a cool dry area away from sunlight and moisture.
And you should avoid storing it near other foods that contain sugar or alcohol, such as honey or wine.
These ingredients react with salt to form harmful compounds called nitrosamines.
Nitrosamines are known carcinogens, so they should never be stored together.
What are the benefits of using salt?
Salt helps add flavor to your food.
When you cook with salt, the sodium chloride dissolves into the water and creates an environment where proteins can easily bond together.
This makes your food taste better and more tender.
Another benefit of using salt is that it helps reduce the amount of fat in your diet.
Fat contributes to heart disease, obesity, and diabetes, so cutting down on it is one way to improve your health.
Is salt healthy?
In moderation, salt is considered a healthy part of a balanced diet.
According to the World Health Organization, adults need only 1,500 milligrams of sodium daily.
That’s about three teaspoons of table salt.
However, if you consume more than this recommended amount, you run the risk of developing hypertension, kidney stones, osteoporosis, and even cancer.
How does salt affect the body?
When you consume salt, your blood pressure rises.
Your kidneys excrete excess salt through urine.
High blood pressure increases your risk of having a stroke, heart attack, and kidney failure.
In addition to these risks, excessive salt consumption can lead to weight gain.
This is why doctors advise their patients to limit their intake of salty snacks and processed foods.
What are the side effects of consuming too much salt?
High blood pressure and fluid retention are the most common side effects of consuming too much salt.
Other possible side effects include headaches, stomach cramps, constipation, muscle aches, and confusion.
Excessive salt consumption also causes dehydration.
This can result in dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and fainting.
Is it safe to eat expired salt?
It depends on whether you bought the salt before or after its expiration date.
If you purchased the salt before its expiration date, then it’s definitely safe to eat.
However, if you bought it after its expiration date, then you should throw it away immediately.
If you think you may have purchased expired salt, check the package for any signs of damage or discoloration.
If you see anything suspicious, then don’t eat it and call your local poison control center right away.
What are some alternative uses for salt?
Aside from adding flavor to your food, salt is useful for many other things.
Here are a few examples:
Adding flavor to vegetables
Preventing mold growth
Drying fruits and vegetables
Making bread dough rise
Removing stains from fabric
Stripping paint off walls
Picking up spilled liquids
For more information on salt, read How Does Salt Work?
How can you properly store salt to prevent it from going bad?
To ensure that your salt stays fresh, follow these tips:
Store your salt in a cool, dry location
Don’t store it next to other foods that contain sugar or alcohol
Keep it away from air and light
Avoid storing it in plastic containers
Wipe off the lid of the container each time you open it
Replace the lid as soon as you close it
Do not refrigerate salt
Refrigeration damages the texture of salt, which changes its ability to dissolve
Never freeze salt
Use your salt within six months of purchase
Don’t shake or stir the salt while it’s in the container
Store your salt in an airtight container
Store your salt in a dry place away from heat sources
Don’t store your salt in the same place for extended periods of time
Use your salt within six months of purchase
Don’t mix different types of salt
Don’t reuse the same salt shaker
Clean and rinse your salt shaker regularly
Salt And Pepper Shrimp Recipe
- 1 Pan
- ½ tablespoon oil
- 1 tablespoon green onion scallion
- 1 tablespoon green jalapeno
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon white pepper
- 1 pound shrimp
- Rinse the shrimp with cold running water. Pat dry with paper towels and then marinate with the salt and white pepper, about 15 minutes.
- Mix all the ingredients in the Frying Batter until well combined. Add the shrimp into the Frying Batter, stir to coat evenly with the batter.
- To deep fry the shrimp, heat 2 to 3 inches (5 to 7.5 cm) of the oil in a wok or stockpot to 350° F (175°C). Gently drop the shrimp into the oil and loosen them up immediately with the spatula to prevent them from clumping together.
- Deep-fry the shrimp to a light golden brown or until the batter becomes crispy. Dish out with a strainer or slotted spoon, draining the excess oil by laying the shrimp on a wire rack or a dish lined with paper towels.
- To stir-fry, heat the oil in a skillet over high heat. Add the chopped green onion and chili/jalapeno and stir quickly for a few times. Add the fried shrimp into the skillet and then add the salt and white pepper. Stir to combine all the ingredients well, dish out and serve immediately.