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July 21, 2010 9:08 AM   Subscribe

Is it OK to store my spices in a shipping container for 2 weeks?

I'm moving, and I got one of those shipping container deals. As I'm packing up all my stuff, I wonder about my spice collection. I have a lot of spices, and I'm wondering if they'll still be usable if they sit in a shipping container (under who knows what conditions) for 2 weeks.

Whattya say? Should I ditch the spices and start over, or will they still be good after that time?
posted by King Bee to Food & Drink (8 answers total)
They may be less effective but will still be fine. They have probably been in a shipping container before. How do you think they got to your house in the first place?
posted by charlesv at 9:10 AM on July 21, 2010 [2 favorites]

Shipping containers are cold and dark, right?
They'd be fine. Just store them in airtight containers. It's not worth it if you've already had them for several months or if they are inexpensive to replace.
posted by special-k at 9:10 AM on July 21, 2010

I packed my dry spices up in a POD and shipped them two thousand miles in the middle of winter, where they sat for a couple of weeks before I unpacked them in my new kitchen. They survived just fine!
posted by padraigin at 9:10 AM on July 21, 2010

Anything that's still sealed really won't care. Anything that isn't sealed probably won't either, but it might not hurt to check them out once you unpack them. Like others have said, it's a a good storage environment for them.
posted by BZArcher at 9:20 AM on July 21, 2010

charlesv: Duh. Thanks for making me see the light!

Thanks to the rest of you as well!
posted by King Bee at 9:21 AM on July 21, 2010

Define a lot. Spices don't last forever. I'm sure the spice companies would like to you to think it's a very short time. But some lose quite a bit of their punch within a few months of being opened.

Depending on when and where you're shipping that container could be a baking oven as it sits on the docks and on the boat. Middle of winter, less of a problem.
posted by wkearney99 at 10:02 AM on July 21, 2010

Oh, and if it's summer time DO NOT SHIP CANDLES this way. Doesn't take much heat for candles to start getting deformed. I had this quirky family heirloom sort of thing, a candle that looked like a turkey. Trotted out just for the annual Thanksgiving dinner. Made the mistake of leaving it up in the attic one summer. Now it's the psychedelic melted turkey. Along with the now square box shaped Jack O'Lantern candle stored with it.
posted by wkearney99 at 10:06 AM on July 21, 2010

wkearney99: thanks for the tips. It is the middle of summer and getting shipped to central Texas, so perhaps the baking oven idea is what we're in for. I'll have to make an executive decision.
posted by King Bee at 11:43 AM on July 21, 2010

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