How to Store Non Perishable Food Items

A guide on how and where to store Non Perishable Food Items
how to store your non perishable food items

 How to Store Non Perishable Food Items for Maximum Freshness


Having a well-stocked pantry is a key part of emergency preparedness and healthy eating. Properly storing non perishable foods preserves freshness and prevents spoilage. Follow these comprehensive tips and your canned goods, grains, beans, nuts and more will last as long as possible.

Choose a Proper Pantry Location


  • Store in a cool, dry place away from heat sources like oven, furnace vents or direct sunlight which can degrade foods.
  • Ideal temperature is between 50-70°F with low humidity. Avoid temperature fluctuations.
  • Kitchen cabinets, basement storage rooms, and pantries are often ideal locations.

Use Proper Containers


  • Repackage opened non perishables in airtight plastic, glass or metal containers made specifically for food storage.
  • Look for BPA-free containers – some plastics can leach chemicals into foods.
  • Glass jars, food-grade plastic bins, and reusable bags are good options. Ensure seals are tight.
  • Avoid containers with signs of damage – cracks, rust, warping. These allow air and moisture in.
  • Clear containers make it easy to identify contents. However, opaque options prevent light exposure.

Practice First-In, First-Out


  • Follow FIFO – first-in, first-out principles when stocking pantry.
  • Place new items in back and move older products forward to use first.
  • Keep an inventory list noting purchase dates and when containers are opened.
  • Date containers with permanent marker for easy rotation.

Monitor Temperature


  • Install a thermometer in pantry area to monitor temperature. Ideal is 50°-70°F.
  • If area gets too hot, consider adding insulation, ventilation, or even a cooling unit.
  • Cold spots below 40°F could also cause some items to freeze or get damaged.

Keep Food in the Dark


  • Exposure to light degrades many foods over time. Use opaque containers when possible.
  • Store packages inside cabinets, containers or dark pantry areas away from sunlight.
  • Tinting glass jars or using dark bottles also prevents light exposure.

Separate Properly


  • Avoid cross-contamination by storing compatible foods together.
  • Never store pet foods alongside human foods.
  • Keep herbs and spices sealed off from items like flour that can absorb scents.

Clean Regularly

  • Wipe down shelves every 1-2 months to prevent dust and debris build up.
  • Check for signs of pests like moths, beetles, rodents. Discard any contaminated foods.
  • Fix any water leaks immediately to avoid mould growth.

Label Everything


  • Use labels with name and date stored on all containers, boxes, and bags.
  • This allows for easy FIFO rotation and identification of when items expire.

Proper storage maximizes shelf life! Follow these tips to keep your Non Perishable Food Items and pantry foods fresh for when you need them.

Detailed Storage Guide by Category:

CategoryFoodsTipsShelf Life
Whole GrainsOats, brown rice, pasta, quinoa, cereal, granola, wheat berries, barley, popcornAirtight containers away from moisture and heat1-2 years
Canned GoodsFruits – peaches, pears, pineapple, applesauce. Vegetables – carrots, green beans, corn, tomatoes. Beans – chickpeas, kidney, black. Meats – tuna, salmon, chicken. Soups – vegetable, chicken noodle, tomato.Cool, dark pantry. Check for dents or rust.2-5 years
CondimentsOils – olive, coconut, vegetable. Vinegars – balsamic, apple cider, red wine. Sauces – soy, salsa, Worcestershire. Spices – garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, cumin, thyme, basil.Refrigerate after opening. Lid tight.1-3 years
LegumesCanned beans – navy, pinto, kidney, garbanzo, cannellini. Dried – kidney, black, lima, lentils – green, brown, red, split peas.Reseal packages. Store in cool pantry.1-2 years
Nuts & SeedsAlmonds, cashews, peanuts, pecans, walnuts, sunflower, pumpkin, sesame seeds. Nut butters – peanut, almond, sunflower seed.Refrigerate or freeze for max freshness.6-12 months
Dried FoodsFruits – cranberries, raisins, apples, apricots. Vegetables – potato flakes, kale chips, beet chips. Jerky – beef, turkey, salmon.Sealed bags/jars away from humidity.1-2 years
BeveragesPowdered milk, non-dairy milk, juices – cranberry, apple, orange. Coffee, tea.Store in cool, dark place.1-2 years
SnacksGranola bars, rice cakes, crackers, pretzels, popcorn, nuts, seeds, trail mix, dried fruit mixes.Sealed bags/containers.6-12 months