Know the Food Storage Shelf Life for Your Pantry

When stockpiling food, it is important to think about the food storage shelf life of everything you put in your pantry. This is especially true if you are primarily stocking up with regular canned and dried food from your local supermarket or big box store.

It would be a waste if after a short time some food items spoil because they do not store well, especially under varying conditions. It is also important to know how long each type of foodstuff lasts in storage. This will guide your decision on how much, and what you should actually store.

Long Shelf Life Foodstuff

Some products have a very long food storage shelf life and must be in everyone’s pantry. Some of these are household staples that are important for health and they can stave off hunger. Foodstuff that will not go bad after 12 months and longer in storage include:

Whole Grain

Many foods in this category can last for over 10 years, with some lasting for up to 30 years. Grains and cereals in this group include millet, dry corn and flax seeds.


These can last for years in the right storage conditions. Canned beans have a shelf life of between two to five years. Dried beans are still edible after 12 months in storage.


This should still be useable after 12 months in your pantry. Some types such as rolled oats can even last for a two to three year period or even longer if the container is not opened. You will need to prevent insect infestation by storing in an airtight and moisture-resistant container.


This important food can last for up to 12 months.  It is necessary to store it in airtight containers for it to remain useable.


This sweetener has an indefinite food storage shelf life. Every kitchen should have an unopened bottle or two of this versatile food item.


Like honey, salt can retain its flavor indefinitely. Due to its multipurpose nature, no pantry should be without it as part of a food stockpile.

Even if your food supply will not last in storage for as long as 12 months, it is still important to stock and store food items that are useable after months in your pantry.  One of these is brown rice, which can usually last for six to eight months in storage. Under ideal storage conditions it may even last for a year or more. Some sources state that this food can last for up to eight years if it is not exposed to light and moisture.

Other foodstuff that has a long food storage shelf life that should be in your pantry include:- pasta, brown sugar, ketchup, pickles, tea, coffee and sun dried tomatoes. Spices and herbs will also last for years when the storage conditions are good.

When storing food products it is necessary to keep the environment suitable. This means making sure that the storage area is dark and has little or no moisture. You should also continuously switch out older foodstuff for fresher ones by moving older items to the front of the kitchen cabinet and placing new purchases at the back.

To ensure that your food is still useable after being in storage, you should periodically check to ensure that the conditions are still ideal. Knowing the food storage shelf life is important for various reasons such as a catastrophic event leading to severe food shortage.

By having some or indeed all the longer life foods in your pantry you’ll at least stave off hunger if a disaster lasts months to a year.  This will undoubtedly make you better prepared than 95% of people living around you; so ensure this pantry or storage area remains a guarded secret.

Return from Food Storage Shelf Life to Survival Food

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