By Rachel Asher

Black olives are an essential part of a kitchen pantry because they are so versatile. They can easily be tossed into a salad, chopped with garlic to make a tapenade or mixed with feta and mint to add a Mediterranean zest to any meal. Occasionally, we forget about our black olives and then comes the time to decide: to eat or not to eat?

Black olives are long as they aren't spoiled.

Step 1

Check the expiration date on the olive can or container. If the expiration date has already passed, the black olives could be bad.

Step 2

Smell the olives. If they do not have a smell or they smell metallic or unpleasant in some way, they are probably bad and should be thrown out.

Step 3

Examine the olives. If black olives have white fuzz on them, seem overly greasy and slimy or look patchy and discolored, they are bad.