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Keep Your Food Storage Longer with These Helpful Hints

Shelves of Dry Food Storage in a Hudson RentalMany people keep a small stock of dry food in their pantry or kitchen cabinets. Although dry food generally keeps well, and can even last on a shelf for years, dry goods can still expire and go bad. If that happens, you risk poor quality food and foodborne illness. These dry food storage tips will help keep your stock fresh and nutritious for as long as possible.

Rotate Your Items

Dry storage areas typically store baking supplies, grains, dried beans, cereals, and canned goods. These foods are great because they keep on the shelf for a long time so you can buy them long before you need to use them. But if you keep a stock of dry food, it is important that you check and rotate the items in your pantry, kitchen, or storage room regularly. As you buy new stocks of the same items, place them behind the older ones to make sure you use the existing ones first. Make it a habit, as well, to write the expiration date on all containers and throw out expired items. Rotating your dry food is a great way to avoid getting sick from spoiled dry foods!

Cooler is Better

Dry food that lasts a long time in the right conditions can spoil quickly under the wrong conditions. This is especially true if you try to store dry foods in an environment that is too hot or not temperature controlled. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, ideally, you should store dry food between 50 degrees and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Storing dry goods in temperatures colder or warmer than these may cause them to deteriorate faster than they should.

Drier is Better

Now that you know to keep dry food in cooler temperatures, you also have to remember that keeping food dry is just as important. This can be a challenge in humid climates. Humidity damages even the packaging your dry food comes in. Too much moisture in the air can also damage cardboard and even some cans. Mold and bacteria tend to grow on wet boxes.

In humid climates, dry food is usually stored in airtight glass containers instead of in bags and boxes. If that is not practical, you will need to use a dehumidifier or air conditioner to keep your dry foods safe during the humid parts of the year.

Keep it Centered

You must remember that temperatures and humidity levels can vary even inside the same room. This is important when deciding where your dry food storage will be. For instance, you would get a different temperature reading around the outside edges of a room, near windows and doors, and up high. Exterior surfaces are also more prone to condensation problems and can serve as an invitation to bugs or rodents.

Dry food is kept best if you put it someplace centrally located and up off the floor. It would also be good to avoid areas that get direct sunlight or any place that is against an exterior wall. If your storage is in the basement or cellar, don’t place your shelves along any unfinished exterior cement walls. This will help keep your dry food dry, clean, and ready to use when you need it.

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