SHELF LIVES OF SOME COMMON STORAGE FOODS

food-storage

The chart given below has been adapted from a number of different
shelf-life charts published by the cooperative extension services of
several states. It presupposes no special packaging other than the way the food comes from the store. The general assumption is that when a given foods’ taste, appearance or texture begin to take on noticeable changes it has reached the end of its best marketable shelf life and should be rotated out. This is not to say the food is no longer edible, but it is losing nutritional content at the same time so no purpose is served by keeping it for longer than is necessary to replace it with fresher stock. For what it’s worth, I’m not fully in agreement with it myself, but it’s a good working hypothesis and I modify it by my personal experience which may vary from yours. If it is a dry food then only dry utensils should be used to remove it from its container. The less light, moisture, heat and oxygen it comes into contact with, the longer the food will keep.

Baking powder……………..Till can date……Sealed & bone dry
Baking soda…………………2 years……….Sealed & bone dry
Biscuit, brownie, muffin mix….9 months………Sealed, cool and dry
Bouillon, cubes or granules…..2 years……….Sealed, cool and dry
Cake mixes, regular………….9 months………Sealed, cool and dry
angel food……….1 year………..Sealed, cool and dry
Canned metal can, non-acidic…2 years……….Cool
food, metal can, acidic…..12-18 months…….Cool
glass jars………….2-3 years………Dark and cool
Chocolate, semi-sweet
or unsweetened………….18 months………Cool and dark
Chocolate syrup……………..2 years……….Cool & tightly sealed
Cocoa, powder or mixes……….8 months………Sealed and cool
Coffee, regular……………..2 years……….Cool, dry and sealed
instant…………….1-2 years………Sealed
Coffee creamers, powdered…….9 months………Sealed and cool
Cornmeal……………………1 year………..Guard against weevils
Cornstarch…………………18 months………Dry
Crackers……………………3 months………Dry
Flour, white……………….8-12 months…….Guard against weevils
whole wheat………….6-8 months……..Cool and weevil proof
Frosting, canned……………3 months………Cool
mix………………8 months………Dry and cool
Fruits, dried………………6-12 months…….Cool & sealed
Gelatin, all types………….18 months………Protect from moisture
Grains, whole……………….2 years……….Dry and weevil proof
Hominy & hominy grits………..1 year………..Guard against weevils
Honey………………………1 year………..Sealed
Jellies, jams, preserves……..1 year………..Refrigerate after use
Molasses & syrups……………1 year………..Sealed
Mayonnaise………………….6 months………Refrigerate after use
Milk, condensed or
evaporated…………….1 year………..Turn over every 2 mos
Non-fat dry……………6 months………Bone dry and cool
Nuts, vacuum canned………….1 year………..Cool and dark
other packaging………..3 months………Cool and dark
in shell………………4 months………Cool, dry and dark
Pancake mix………………..6-9 months……..Dry and weevil proof
Pastas
(macaroni, noodles, etc)…….2 years……….Guard against weevils
Peanut butter………………6-9 months……..Sealed, cool, dark
Peas and beans, dry
(not soybeans)……………..2 years……….Dry and weevil proof
Potatoes, instant…………..6-12 months…….Dry and weevil proof
Pudding mixes……………….1 year………..Cool and very dry
Rice, white…………………2+ years………Guard against weevils
brown…………………3-6 months……..Cool and weevil proof
flavored or herb………..6 months………Sealed & weevil proof
Salad dressings……………10-12 months…….Refrigerate after use
Salad oils………………….6 months………Sealed, dark and cool
Sauce and gravy mixes……….6-12 months…….Cool and dry
Shortening, solid……………1 year………..Dark
Soup mixes………………….1 year………..Cool and dry
Sugar, brown………………..6 months………Airtight container
confectioners………..18 months………Dry and sealed
granulated……………2+years……….Dry
Syrups (corn syrup based)……8-12 months…….Sealed and cool
Tea, bags………………….18 months………Sealed and dry
instant………………..3 years……….Sealed
loose………………….2 years……….Sealed and dry
Vegetables, dried……………1 year………..Cool and sealed
Vinegar…………………….2+ years………Sealed
Yeast (dry)……………Pkg expiration date….Cool and dry

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