Shelf Lives Of Some Common Storage Foods

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 packagings 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.

All of the below are for new, unopened containers.

RECOMMENDED STORAGE TIME FOOD AT 70 deg. F. STORAGE TIPS Keep the product: 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 Frostings, 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

Misc.Survivalism FAQs maintained by Alan T. Hagan,
Copyright ©1996, 1997, 1998, 1999. Alan T. Hagan. All rights reserved.

Excluding contributions attributed to specific individuals all material in this work is copyrighted to Alan T. Hagan and all rights are reserved. This work may be copied and distributed freely as long as the entire text, my and the contributor's names and this copyright notice remain intact, unless my prior express permission has been obtained. This FAQ may not be distributed for financial gain, included in commercial collections or compilations or included as a part of the content of any web site without prior, express permission from the author.