Proper Use of Bulk Food Storage Containers
So you’ve decided to get yourself a stock of food and have gone to all the trouble of planning out how many buckets and lids to buy, what the price is going to be, and gotten all of your food grade (or better) bulk food storage containers. Now you need to know four more things that can dramatically improve the shelf life and usability of all that survival food… take care of your food storage products, and they’ll take care of you.
Rotate using: first in first out (FIFO) system
Cool and Dry
Bulk Food Storage Containers Rotation Using FIFO
The first one is going to take some planning, especially with bulk foods. Let’s say you follow the general rule of thumb and have 60 pounds of beans to store. Instead of dumping the whole 60 pounds into one container, you really need to consider breaking it down into smaller segments, such as 5 pounds, inside your bulk food storage containers.
Continue to eat and purchase new beans as your family eats them. Use the beans from the bulk storage container for your table, and put the new beans you just bought into storage. It’s up to you to decide on how to keep track of which beans to eat next. In other words, FIFO means always eating the oldest stuff first so that your stored foods are always as fresh as possible.
Control Temperature and Humidity Around Your Bulk Food Storage Containers
Without beating the subject too much, it all boils down to the fact that you can effectively double or even triple the useful life of bulk food by keeping temperatures and humidity low. Your garage in Texas is no place for an emergency food storage for the long haul. A basement is better, a dry refrigerated room is best.
You want to keep stored foods between 34 and 68 degrees. And the closer you can get to freezing without going over, the better it is for shelf life. Same goes with humidity. Below 50% is a must, and you’re reaching optimal humidity ranges at 15%.
Oxygen and Light Negatively Affect Bulk Food Storage Containers
With these two items it should actually be zero oxygen and zero light. Oxygen is the biggest culprit in food spoilage. Almost everything that causes food to go bad has to do with oxygen. So your bulk food storage containers need to be air tight at a minimum and vacuum sealed at best. Those five pound portions of beans? Vaccum seal them even before you put them to rest in the box.
Temperature, light and humidity all aid O2 in the relentless effort to rot and erode. You can’t expect your food stores to do well under the overhang on the back porch. Even diffused sunlight will simply eat away at it all. No light, no oxygen equals dried foods with shelf lives of ten years or even longer.
If you follow these four basic rules of thumb you can expect everything you store to survive for more than a decade. When you combine those extended shelf lives with a schedule for rotating the oldest stuff out and replacing it with new bulk food, you can have a bulk food storage containers plan that is always ready to stand the test of time.