It is recommended to use spices, herbs and seasonings before the preferred consumption date.
Open the bottle and check visually if the spice or herb looks fresh.
Green and leafy herbs fade over time, but you have to be careful because some herbs can vary in color and should not be compared between them. For example, tarragon is naturally greener than rosemary. Some products such as dill contain a portion of the flower, which makes them more yellowish than products without flowers.
Red spices such as paprika, red pepper and chili powder will change from red to brown.
Crush some of the spice or herb in your hand and smell it. If the aroma is not rich, the spice or herb has probably lost most of its flavor. (Exception: whole spices such as peppercorns and cinnamon sticks, have a protective coating that will not allow the full fragrance to come out, until it is crushed or broken).
Spices and herbs are made of numerous flavor components. Each component dissipates in varying ranges over time, altering the overall balance of flavors in spices and herbs as they age. The initial quality of a spice or herb can affect its shelf life; a higher quality product will maintain its good taste for a longer time than a lower quality product.