Saturday, July 10, 2010

Food Storage Rotation

Why rotate your Food Storage?

An important part of your Food Storage system is to rotate and eat what you store! Keep an ongoing inventory to help you keep track of what you have, what you have used and when you replaced or added to it.

Here are some common-sense reasons for storing what you normally eat:

1. Eliminates food spoilage
2. Minimizes food deterioration
3. Stabilizes diet during stressful situations


There are different systems to use to help you rotate your food storage. Here a few of them:

1. Food Storage Rolling Shelving: The most expensive is to purchase the food storage rolling shelving that have slanted shelves allowing you to put the cans behind the front ones and when you remove the front ones, the back ones roll down. You can find these online and at Food Storage supply stores. They can run minimum $300 and up depending on the size you purchase. I have also seen Ward members you have built their own wooden ones along a wall on a slant allowing the cans of food to roll forward as you use the front ones.

2. The Column System: Place as many columns of cans or boxed items as you want right next to each other. Decide if the left or right side is the oldest food item. Once you use the oldest (left or right side) column you slide the other columns over and add a new column. You continue the process continually rotating your food items. I like this system best and find it easier to rotate what I store.

3. Wooden or Metal Shelves: You can build wooden shelves like below to store you items on. Keep an inventory of the items you have and review the inventory quarterly.

Metal shelving also works great. If the only place you have to store food is in your garage put the food storage shelves along an inside wall since it will be cooler than an outside wall.

Plastic Storage Bins and Shelving: These are great for dry food items like rice, pastas, beans, etc. Mark on the front of each bin the contents and dates so you can rotate as needed.

4. Kitchen Cupboard Food Storage: You may not have enough room to have one of the Food Storage Units above. A kitchen cupboard will work find. The example below is very unorganized. You can organize the shelves by items. Put all heavy items (canned foods, etc) on the bottom and organized like items together (corn, green beans, soup, etc). Put other items on the upper shelves in organized like item groups (cereals, mixes, seasonings, etc). A good idea is to put a chart taped to inside of the cupboard door to keep track of items in your cupboard, when you use an items make a list of the items that need replaced for your next trip to the grocery store.

Food Storage Rotation General Guidelines for Items Stored in Cans:

Note: Freeze-dried goods sealed in cans under nitrogen should be rotated within 3-5 years.

18-24 Month Shelf Life:

Wet -pack canned foods (If not acidic or "old" goods purchased on sale. Non-acidic canned goods include tomatoes and vegetables).
Boxed goods (pasta, mixes, puddings, gelatin, etc.) placed in sealed containers (to prevent loss form moisture or weevils)
Foods in foil-lined bags (such as onions and potatoes) if kept tightly closed

2 Year Shelf Life:

Foods containing butter fat, egg yolk, milk fat, peanut oil
Peanut oil
Brown Rice
Bouillons and Soup Bases (in jar)

(These foods can last up to 5 years if packaged with "controlled atmosphere packing" which means that all oxygen has been removed from the can before sealing--dry-pack canning.)

5 Year Shelf Life:

Bouillon and Soup Bases (in a can)
Garlic granules or powder
Pasta Products
Onion granules or powder
Whole Wheat Flour
Freeze-dried Foods (3-7 year shelf like. After opening can, cover with tight lid and use within 6-8 weeks)
Dehydrated Foods (5-7 year shelf life. After opening can, cover with tight lid and use within 6-24 months)

5-10 Year Shelf Life:

Dessert Mixes
Drink Mixes
Milk, Regular, Non-fat
Rolled Oats
Potatoes, granulated, without milk
Corn starch
Corn meal
Breakfast drinks
Banking soda
Banking powder

10+ Year Shelf Life:

Potatoes (diced, flaked, shredded, sliced)
Vegetables (salad blend, soup blend, vegetable mix)
Egg Whites
Meat Substitutes
White Rice
Cracked wheat
Tomato crystals
Shortening Powder

20+ Year Shelf Life:

Dry beans
Beef Jerky
Multi-purpose food
Dry peas
White sugar
Wheat (whole kernel, hand, dry-less than 12% moisture content)

Important: The above items will keep for the years mentioned if stored properly!

For easier ROTATION keep like year items above together. Mark on the shelf and cupboards how long they will last for easy remembering, but rotate as needed.

This blog posting is not complete!


  1. I love the column system!!! I will start doing that. My shelves are not very practical.

    Alexia Saunders

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