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Keep Your Food Storage Longer with These Helpful Hints

Shelves of Dry Food Storage in a Ozark RentalIt is common for many people to have 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. 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 in your pantry, kitchen, or storage room, it is best to rotate them 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 a great way to avoid 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 usually happens when you keep your dry foods in a place that is not temperature controlled or that is too hot, even for just part of the year. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, dry food should be kept somewhere where the temperature is between 50 degrees and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Warmer or colder temperatures may cause your dry goods to go bad a lot faster than they should.

Drier is Better

Together with cooler temperatures, keeping dry food dry is also very important. This is particularly challenging in humid climates. Humidity damages even the packaging your dry food comes in. Cardboard and even some cans get damaged when there is a lot of moisture in the air. Wet boxes, in particular, are the favorite breeding grounds for mold and bacteria.

In humid climates, it is advisable to store dry food in airtight glass containers instead of in bags and boxes. If that is impractical for you, or if you live in a dry climate, you will need to use a dehumidifier or air conditioner to protect your dry food stores during the more humid seasons.

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, the temperature at the edges of a room will be different from areas near windows and doors and up high. Condensation problems are also more common on exterior surfaces and can be 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 you will store dry food in a basement or cellar, don’t place them along any 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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