Food Preservation

Do Bay Leaves Go Bad? How Long Do Bay Leaves Last?

In this article, you will know the answer to the query “Do Bay Leaves Go Bad? How Long Do Bay Leaves Last?“.

In culinary terms, a bay leaf is an aromatic and flavorful leaf from a laurel tree that enhances the flavor.

It is used in various cuisines, including sauces, soups, and stews, as well as teas, because of its pungent smell and astringent taste.

Bay leaves are also rich in nutrition if you didn’t know.

Verywellfit says it contains the right amount of vitamins A, C, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, and Potassium, and is known to ease various health issues.

Almost everyone has an old jar of bay leaves in their cabinet that they don’t know what to do with, but they use them almost every day.

How long do bay leaves last, though? Can you still eat those old bay leaves that you have lying around in your spice cupboard?

Let’s take a closer look at that question.

Do Bay Leaves Go Bad? How Long Do Bay Leaves Last?

There seems to be no end to the life of dried herbs and spices.

It won’t kill you to consume those questionable spices like bay leaves, cinnamon, and chili powder, but they would have already lost their full flavor, so what is the point of adding bland and dull spices to your meal?

As long as you store bay leaves properly, they can last between one and three years.

Dry bay leaves should be stored away from sunlight and heat since they reduce their potency when exposed to them.

When you use fresh bay leaves, you’ll probably have them for a week if you store them properly.

As stated in TheKitchn, bay leaves shouldn’t be stored on the spice shelf, but rather in the freezer.

By freezing the leaves, most of their aroma and flavor can be preserved for a longer time.

You can use dried bay leaves for a long time, but…

It’s not necessarily true that bay leaves spoil or go bad, but if you notice that your meal doesn’t taste as flavorful and aromatic, then you probably need to throw it out.

Why wouldn’t you want a whiff of aromatic pungency to enhance the flavor of your food?

How To Tell If Bay Leaves Are Bad? Bay Leaves Shelf Life!

While bay leaves provide a pleasant aroma and nuance to your meal, if you don’t receive as much flavor as you expected, then the leaves could be considered bad.

In addition, you should look for any signs of mold on your bay leaves if your bay leaf container or bag contains moisture.

Another way to tell if a bay leaf is bad is to check if it falls apart when touched and lightly pressed. This means it has been stored for too long and needs to be replaced.

Alternatively, you can rub a leaf between your fingers and smell it; if the aroma is weak, they have gone bad.


Bay leaves enhance a meal by enhancing its surroundings. You won’t break your meal without a pinch of flavor and an aroma, but it definitely adds a subtle kick to it.

In addition, although eating bay leaves that are years old or improperly stored is not dangerous, it certainly takes away a lot of their benefits.

Make sure you store your bay leaves properly and replace those ancient jars of leaves in your cabinet with a fresh ones to enjoy the bay leaf to its full potential.

Do Bay Leaves Go Bad? How Long Do Bay Leaves Last? (Recipe)


15 minutes


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  • Bay leaves
  • Air-tight containers or Ziplock bags
  • Labels and markers


  • Read the guide thoroughly to learn how long it lasts.
  • Label your container with the content and date and keep track of how much you’re using!
  • Make sure to store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place (pantry or fridge).
  • If frozen, thaw in the fridge before use. Always check for signs of spoilage before use.

Ayub Khan

Ayub Khan is an accomplished culinary author with a passion for cooking and 6 years of experience. His creative ideas and valuable tips inspire readers to explore new flavors and take their culinary skills to the next level.

Rehmat Dietitian

Rehmat is a certified food dietitian having experience of 10 years in reviewing and practicing on foods different aspects.

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