If you keep large quantities of food on hand, it’s important to cycle through it — replacing it with recently-bought supplies — in order not to let the grub spoil. But nonperishable staples don’t always come with expiration dates. And even if they do, you might have lost the dates if you transferred the food to your own containers.
You should keep records of when you bought the foods, and mark them with use-by dates. USA Emergency Supply helps out with the latter task by estimating the length of time many foods are expected to last.
Bearing in mind that factors such as humidity, temperature and the types of containers used will make use-by dates vary, here are some general guidelines to go by:
* Soft grains — Barley, oats and rye are soft grains that can last as long as eight years.
* Hard grains — Corn, wheat and flax are in this category. They can last between 10 and 12 years.
* Beans — Hermetically sealed, they can last between eight and 10 years before they need to be tossed. As they age, they lose oils and may need to be ground.
* Pasta — It can last as long as 10 years. As with most other foods, cooler temperatures will help it last even longer.
Read the source article for other foods’ expiration dates, as well as storage guidelines for each.
Storage Life of Dried Foods [USA Emergency Supply]