How to Rotate Food Storage
Food storage is a subject always at the back of people’s mind - but what deters individuals from prepping for an event where food storage would come in handy is not knowing how to properly do it. Long-term food storage is something you need to give some thought to if you want to ensure your family has what it needs in case of an emergency. Food storage can be a wasted investment if you don’t do it properly. Here are a few tips to help you invest wisely in a practice of emergency preparedness for short term and long term emergencies.
The BEST foods for long term food storage include these types of food:
- Grains (Wheat, Rice, Flour, Oats, Pasta, etc.)
- Canned and Dried Meats
- Fats and Oils (Vegetable Oil, Shortening, etc.)
- Milk and Dairy
- Cooking Essentials (Salt, Yeast, Baking Powder/soda, etc.)
- Fruits and Vegetables (Freeze Dried and Canned)
- Full Freeze Dried Meals (Breakfast, Dinner, etc.)
When stocking your pantry for food storage, put items with the nearest expiration date up front so they get used first. It also helps to mark each box or can with its expiration date in black marker so it’s easy to see at a glance. Every three months, go through your pantry and carefully examine cans and preserved foods. Any cans that are beginning to rust should be used immediately. Throw out any cans that are bulging, as this can be a sign that air (and bacteria) has been introduced. Never eat any food that has an unusual texture or odor.
Bins and can rotators are essential to successful food storage. They help you keep track of expiration dates and aid in the rotation of foods. It is highly recommended to find a centralized place to store everything, but if you can’t - the system also works particularly well if you are storing food in random places around the house. Grouping the food together in bins by month really helps you keep track of things.
It is important to know the following:
- Most freeze-dried foods have a shelf life of 10-30 years.
- Most store-bought canned foods have a shelf life of about 1-3 years. ("Use-by" dates are not necessarily the same as shelf life.)
- Home canned foods have a shelf life about the same as store-bought canned foods; however, it depends on the safety of canning methods used and personal choice about taking risks of eating food older than 1-3 years.
In summary - with just a little space, time, and organizational skills; you can set yourself and family up for success in an emergency by following the above advice in starting your adventure in food storage!