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Pantry Storage
Guidelines for Fresher Food

Pantry storage guidelines 1

Pantry Storage Guidelines: As stated on Refrigerator Food Storage, foods cost money.

Increasing fuel prices also drives up the cost of food. It makes good sense to take care of the food you spend your hard-earned money on.

Information on knowing how to store food correctly will prolong the life of your food. It also reduces the risk of E-coli and salmonella, which keeps you and your family safe and healthy.

You become your own five-star restaurant by implementing these proper refrigerator and pantry storage tips.  Make your food:

  • Safe to eat,
  • Retain most of the nutrients,
  • Improve your health by eating healthy food
  • Retain its maximum texture and flavor,
  • Help you save money by not wasting food

Use the handy chart below to help you get the most from your food!

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Pantry Storage Guidelines
General Information

Read the label. Check the best before dates. Most foods are safe if stored longer, but flavor and value deteriorate. Throw out anything that is spoiled.

Keep you and your family safe.

When in doubt, throw it out!

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Recommended Pantry
Storage Information

The Recommended Storage Times (RST) below apply to unopened packages, unless stated otherwise.

Food Item RST
Cereal Grains: Store in airtight containers after opening. Keep away from light and heat.
Bread crumbs (dry) 3 months
Cereals (ready-to-eat) 8 months
Cornmeal 6-8 months
Crackers 6 months
Pasta Several Years
Rice Several Years
Rolled oats 6-10 months
White flour 1 year
Whole wheat flour 3 months
Canned Foods: Times are for unopened cans. After opening, store in airtight container in refrigerator.
Evaporated milk 9-12 months
Other canned foods 1 year
Dry Foods: Store in airtight containers, away from light and heat after opening.
Baking powder, baking soda 1 year
Beans, peas, lentils 1 year
Chocolate (baking) 7 months
Cocoa 10-12 months
Coffee (ground) 1 month
Coffee (instant) 1 year
Coffee creamer 6 months
Fruit (dried) 1 year
Gelatin 1 year
Jell-O powder 2 years
Mixes (cake, pancake, biscuit) 1 year
Mixes (pie filling, pudding) 18 months
Potatoes (instant) 1 year
Skim milk powder Unopened (1 year); Opened (1 month)
Sugar (all types) Several years
Tea bags 1 year
Miscellaneous Foods: n/a
Honey 18 months
Jam, jellies 1 year (once opened, store covered in refrigerator)
Mayonnaise, salad dressings Unopened (6 months); Opened (1-2 months -- store covered in refrigerator)
Molasses 2 years
Nuts 1 month
Peanut butter Unopened (6 months); Opened (2 months)
Pectin - liquid Unopened (1 year); Opened (1 month -- store covered in refrigerator); Powdered (2 years)
Sandwich spread 8 months (once opened, store covered in refrigerator)
Syrups - corn, maple, table 1 year
Vegetable oils 1 year (once opened, store covered in refrigerator)
Vinegar Several years
Yeast (dry) 1 year

[Note: Information obtained from Texas Agricultural Extension Service, The Texas A&M University System.

Links to Other Information

You might also want to check out the information on these pages:

Here are links to other kitchen-related pages:

Go to: Cooking & Measurements Equivalents

Go to: Kitchen Cleaning

Go to: Kitchen Countertops

Go to: Kitchen Appliance Storage Ideas

Go to: Kitchen Drawer Organizer

Go to: Kitchen Safety Tips

Go to: Kitchen Tips

Go to: Organizing a Kitchen

Go to: Pots & Pans Storage

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