Tag Archives: Food Storage Basics

Proper Food Rotation & Storage Procedures

The following article is a guest post submission from Lee Flynn, a freelance writer and expert in emergency food preparedness and food storage.

Proper Food Rotation And Storage Procedures

Rotating food supplies is important. During emergency situations, families must have plenty of food and if the proper food storage and rotation procedures are used, everyone will have enough food for several days or weeks.

Why Food Must Be Rotated

When food is rotated, the food will better maintain its nutritional content. Food must also be rotated often so that it maintains its flavor. When homeowners rotate their food items, there is always a suitable store because the stored food is not expired.

Rotation also helps families because everyone gets to try dehydrated or freeze-dried foods if that is what is stored. Learning how to eat these long-term storage foods is important because it may be the only option in an emergency situation. Eating long-term food storage items also offers health benefits because the items have less fat and plenty of nutrients.

Using Food Storage Items Efficiently

Many families store their food items in basements and in food pantries. These locations are great because they are cool and dry; these conditions make food last longer. This poses one unique challenge however…because basements and pantries are out-of-the-way places, homeowners usually do not use their food on a regular basis after it is stored. There is a way to solve this problem though. Many preppers use solutions that were designed by food storage specialists like the Shelf Reliance Food Rotation System.

Kitchen Storage Procedures

Food items in the kitchen should be stored in small containers. These small containers can be used to remind others that there are more items in the basement. Because the containers are small, they will not take up a lot of space and will need to be replenished more often, resulting in stored food being rotated. Canned items should be stored on the kitchen shelves.

Designing A One-Week Menu

Many preppers test their food storage skills by making a menu. After they design a menu, they usually notice that certain items are not as efficient as others. A menu also helps preppers understand if they have enough food for certain meals, such as breakfast. In most cases,  an initial trial of the menu will demonstrate that you do not have enough items for certain meals; this is why a menu is important. An efficient menu also prepares families for disaster situations because they can test emergency meals and know what they need to have stored.

Advanced Storage Procedures

It is also an important practice to rotate your food storage items in to your current recipes. For example, many food storage professionals use cheese powder in macaroni and cheese. They also make pancakes using wheat. Beginning to incorporate food storage products such as these into your current recipes will allow you to become familiar with the qualities of the food products you store and how they can be included in recipes you are familiar with and know how to make.

How To Increase The Life Span Of Stored Emergency Food

Food usually lasts longer when it is stored in an area that is 40-60 degrees. Each food item should be rotated and dated properly. All new foods should be placed towards the back. Placing the food on the floor is not recommended because the air will cause problems. Instead, place all food on a shelf. Depending on the weather, the food could get very cold. However, the food should never be placed in an area that has a freezing temperature to best preserve it.

Date And Rotate

Individuals and families should practice their food rotation procedures. Rotation keeps food in great condition, as long as the food is also properly maintained. Most long-term items should be used regularly, such as bulk foods. This procedure is what best helps preppers rotate and replenish their inventory.

It is wise to remember that there are food items that do not last as long as others. For example, canned foods do not last as long as a bucket of grain. However, most items have a date that lets you know how long the food will last.

It is also helpful to remember to use organizing techniques when storing preparedness items. One way to organize food is to place the newest food to the left, leaving the older food on the right. Then as food is used, take food from the right because the items on the right are the oldest. The oldest food should be eaten first because fresh food is needed during emergencies situations and it will avoid losing valuable food resources to spoilage.

Photo Credit: Tim Patterson via photopin cc

Emergency Food Storage: 7 Tips for Getting Started

No matter where you live, there is potential for a disaster. If something were to happen, would you be prepared? Taking the time to store emergency food, water and first-aid supplies is essential in fully preparing your home or business for the unexpected. Starting with a basic food and water storage is a great way to make some headway. For this, you can start with a-la-carte food storage items and pick up more as you go, or purchase quick and easy kits for a solid base. Emergency kits are available in pails, backpacks and duffle bags, each designed for a specific use. These kits are great if you don’t have the time or desire to start building a food storage base on your own. They’re also inexpensive and designed to accommodate almost every emergency need.

Whether you choose to pick up food storage items as you go, or start with emergency food kits, it’s important that you store your items properly for optimal shelf-life and quality. To give you a better idea of how you can do this, we’ve provided the list of food storage tips below.

Food Guidelines for storing:

  • Keep food in a dry, unused area
  • Keep food enclosed at all times
  • Open food boxes or cans care-fully so that you can close them tightly
  • Wrap cookies and crackers in plastic bags and keep them in tight containers
  • Empty open packages and put into screw-top jars to protect them from pests
  • Inspect all food for signs of spoilage on a regular basis
  • Place new items in the back of the storage area and older ones in front

Starting a Storage

Now that you know where and how you should store your emergency food supply, it’s time to get started! Canned foods are the best choice as the food can be well-maintained for a very long period of time. Dried fruits, nuts, sugar, tea, and coffee can also be stored in sealed containers.  Review the tips below for a complete description of what you should start storing and when.

1)     Create Kits

First, make an emergency evacuation kit, also known as a 72-hour kit. Each member of the family should have their own emergency kit with an assortment of emergency supplies and food in a backpack or small bucket. Each kit should have enough supplies for three days. If danger strikes and you need to evacuate instantly, all you have to do is grab your backpack or bucket and escape. Don’t forget the following items: food, water, clothes, first-aid kit, hygiene needs, necessary medicines, important papers, and basic tools and utensils.

2)     Build Your Storage of Favorite Meals

Make a food storage plan based on your current diet. This would include a two or three month supply of the food your family eats regularly. In an emergency, you will want to have foods that you’re accustomed to eating as they will ease your transition into long term food storage items. Do not forget water.

3)     Stock PLENTY of Water

A top priority for getting started is an ample supply of clean water. The average person needs to drink at least two quarts of water each day, and hot climates can double that amount. Water will also be needed for food preparation and hygiene. One gallon per person, per day is usually recommended. According to FEMA, you should have at least a two week supply of water per person in your family. Never ration water. You can always minimize the amount of water your body needs by reducing activity and staying cool.

4)     Stock up on Food Staples

You will want to start storing long term food items. These are simple foods that store for extended periods of time and provide sufficient nutrition. These include grains, legumes, and other staples that will allow you to provide for your family in a reasonable manner for an extended period of time. You will need to incorporate these into your diet so your body can become familiar with them.

5)     Plan for Fire Needs

You also want to consider fire. It is very important to have the ability to light a fire for cooking and warmth. A fire starter is a vital item because it could be tough to locate burnable material and even tougher to ignite it.

6)     Make Sure Storage is Easily Accessible

Location is important. When an emergency is happening, you need to be able to locate your emergency kit and fast.

7)     Plan for Every Emergency

Your home isn’t the only place you should have an emergency kit. You will want to consider placing one in your boat, cabin, vehicle, etc. You never know when disaster could strike.

These are great suggestions and are compliments of the folks at Augason Farms.