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Shelf-Life (or Half-Life) of Corn Syrup

Can you tell me if there is an expiration date on light corn syrup? There is none on the bottle. A friend of mine is having a bit of an argument with her 80-year-old mother. Her mom says it is OK to use it even if it has been in the cabinet for more than 10 years, and my friend says it has been in there too long. Who's right? Can you settle this argument? (She would be asking but she has no access to the Internet.)

Hmmm, a mother who keeps a bottle of corn syrup sitting in her cupboard for a decade, and a daughter with no Internet access. Sounds like two variations of the same problem — failing to keep up with changing times. And while we can provide an answer, that's never a guarantee that it will settle an argument.

ACH Food Companies, Inc., the conglomerate that owns and markets Karo syrup, says, "Karo syrup is safe to eat for an indefinite period of time, whether it has been opened or not opened. Light corn syrup may turn slightly yellow with age, but this is normal and not harmful. Storage conditions affect product quality. Before or after opening, Karo syrup may be stored at room temperature. Bottles may be refrigerated after opening, however, the syrup will be thicker and slower to pour."

To us, 10 years fits within an "indefinite period," so we're not going to argue with mom or ACH Food Companies, Inc. But we think it's time mom used up her corn syrup by increasing her baking activities a bit, and your friend found out for herself how to ask cooking questions online.

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