A Perfect Pantry

Tips for Storing Pantry Foods

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    Ever looked in the pantry for recipe inspiration, only to wonder if the food is still within its use by date?  Pantry goods including canned foods, spices and other dry ingredients have a relatively long, but not indefinite storage life.  And while it’s great to decant flour, rice and other items into dedicated storage containers, there are other factors that contribute to the storage life of foods:   

    • Best practice with food storage
      • According to the CSIRO, warm storage temperatures, bright light, air (containing oxygen) and high humidity all shorten storage life
      • Store pantry items in dark cupboards, especially if they have transparent packaging
      • Store foods in moisture and air proof containers at room temperature 
      • Avoid using cupboards positioned near the oven, refrigerator or dishwasher which contribute heat
      • Canned foods have a typical lifespan of two to four years.  Turnover canned foods once a year to ensure the least possible loss of quality occurs before the food is eaten.  Inspect tinned foods upon purchase and avoid taking home damaged cans - these have a higher chance of being contaminated
    • Inspect pantry items every fortnight or so for weevils and pantry moths, and regularly clean the cracks, crevices and shelving of pantry areas
      • Particular foods are prone to weevils, such as grains and nuts. Once opened, it’s best to store these items in airtight containers
      • Always inspect all grains upon purchase, as weevils can sometimes be lurking within the goods before you’ve left the supermarket
      • Buy grains and nuts in small quantities, and consume within a short period of time once purchased
    • If in doubt, throw it out - foods that have an unusual look or smell should be discarded

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