Food Safety and Storage By: Maille McGraw

How to Store Food

Storing food helps preserve its nutrients, flavor, texture, and appearance. Different foods require different kinds of storage.

  • Buy only what you need
  • Follow the package directions for storing an item
  • Store newly purchased food behind older food
  • Write the purchase dates on items with no sell-by or use-by dates.
  • Use canned food within a year.
  • Clean storage areas regularly. Wipe up spills, and wash and dry surfaces throughly.

Room Temperature Storage

Below 85 degrees F and above freezing, 32 degrees F is room temperature. These temperatures are suitable for storing shelf stable ofoods. These foods include unopened canned foods, dry beans and peas, oils and shortening, and many grain products, except whole grains.

Cabinets should be dry and clean, with doors to keep out light and dirt. They should not be near or above heat sources such as a range, radiator, toaster, or refrigerators (they give off heat too.) Avoid cabinets under the sink and in other areas that tend to be damp.

Avoid storing food in areas containing household cleaners or chemicals. The risk of contamination is too great. Also, keep household cleaners in their oringnal packaging , never in empty food containers or other food containers, you could mix up a cleaner with a food item very easily if they look similar.

After opening shelf-stable foods, the storage requirements change. Some foods, like canned foods, must be refrigerated. Others like dry beans, or a box of cereal, can remain and room temperature. Try to reseal the opened package to keep out dirt and potentially insects, otherwise put the food in a tight seal storage container. Do the same with bulk foods.

Made with Adobe Slate

Make your words and images move.

Get Slate

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.