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Keep Your Food Storage Longer with These Helpful Hints

Shelves of Dry Food Storage in a Mt Vernon RentalA lot of people keep a small stock of dry food in their pantry or kitchen cabinets. Dry food is relatively easy to store. If kept properly, it can last on a shelf for months or years. However, it is still possible for dry goods to expire and go bad. If that happens, you risk poor quality food and foodborne illness. If you want to have clean, fresh, and nutritious stock, these food storage tips will be of great help.

Rotate Your Items

Dry storage areas typically store baking supplies, grains, dried beans, cereals, and canned goods. The good thing about these foods is that they have a long shelf life so you can purchase 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. Place new inventory behind older ones to ensure you use your existing stock. It is also good to write the expiration date of items on the containers and throw out expired items. Rotating your dry food is one of the best prevention from getting sick from spoiled dry foods.

Cooler is Better

Even if dry food lasts a long time in the right conditions, it also spoils quickly in the wrong conditions. This can happen if you keep dry foods in a place that does not have a controlled temperature or is too hot, even just part of the year. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, dry food is ideally stored between 50 degrees and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Your dry goods will deteriorate faster if you store them in temperatures colder or warmer than that.

Drier is Better

Keeping dry food in cooler temperatures is not enough, though. Dry food should also be kept dry. Climates with high humidity make this particularly challenging. Humidity can damage dry food and the packaging it comes in. Too much moisture in the air can also damage cardboard and even some cans. Boxes, when they get wet, become a breeding ground for mold and bacteria.

It is also better to store dry food in airtight glass containers instead of in bags and boxes if you live somewhere with a humid climate. If that is not practical, a dehumidifier or air conditioner will help protect your dry food stores.

Keep it Centered

When deciding on a place for your dry food storage, you must remember that temperatures and humidity levels can vary, even within one room. For instance, the temperature at the edges of a room will be different from areas near windows and doors and up high. Condensation is also more likely to form on exterior surfaces and can invite bugs or rodents.

Dry food keeps best if you put it someplace centrally located and off the floor, even when the storage is indoor. Do not place anything in areas that get direct sunlight or against an exterior wall. For storage in a basement or cellar, see to it that no food is shelved along unfinished exterior cement walls. Doing these will help your food stores stay dry, clean, and ready to use when you need them.

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