culinary review
   
   

Safely Storing Food in a Pantry - How Long Do Staples & Canned Food Stay Good?

Thu Aug 05, 2010 3:19 pm
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How long does food really last in the pantry? Canned food, packaged mixes and staples do not last forever, therefore it's a good idea to every once in a while do an inventory and see how old things are in your cupboard. One good habit, is to always put the oldest cans and bags of flour out front, so you use those up first. That way, if you just rotate your food and eat up the oldest products first, you should not let anything sit too long.

But if you are hesitant about some old tuna cans for instance, it's good to have something to go off from. So here are some general guidelines regarding how long food stays in a pantry. Remember however, that these are just guidelines, and often food keeps in good shape longer than these designated time. Some types of staples such as tea and spices, don't really go bad however they will become less flavorful and lose their aroma as time goes by.

Either way, it's a good idea to do a thorough cleaning of your pantry at least once a year and throw out old products which might need replacing.

How Long To Store Food in Pantry Guidelines
Product
Time
  
Canned (unopened):
 
Fruits   1 year
Vegetables
1 year
Soups 
1 year
Meat, fish, chicken
1 year
  
Packaged Mixes
 
Cake
1 year
Casserole  
18 months
Frosting
8 months
Pancake
6 months
  
Staples:
 
Baking Powder
1 year
Baking Soda1 year
  
Breakfast Cereal:
 
Ready to eat
Check package date
Uncooked
1 year
  
Coffee ( opened & refrigerated)
6 - 8 weeks
Cornmeal: Regular & Self-rising
10 months
Dried Beans & Peas
18 months
Flour - all purpose
10 - 15 months
Whole-Wheat (refrigerated)
3 months
Grits - Regular
10 months
Instant, flavored
9 months
Milk: Evaporated, Sweetened, Condensed
1 year
Pasta 
10 - 15 months
Peanut Butter
6 months
Salt, Pepper, Sugar
18 months
Shortening
8 months
Spices ground
6 months
Whole tea
1 year
Tea Bags
1 year
Vegetable Oil
3 months
Worcestershire Sauce
2 years


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