You’ve spent the time, money, and effort in building up your food storage. You’ve done the research into what food storage is best, how long the shelf-life is, the nutrients, etc. But once you open your food storage, what happens after you open it? How long will it last? Will it still last 10-20 years?
This is a common concern. However, you may have been misinformed in the past. There is a lot of bad information out there that is probably making you worry more than you should.
Here are a number of tips and tricks that will help you extend the shelf-life of opened food storage.
1. Keep in a cool and dry location. The same bit of good advice for un-opened cans goes for containers that have been opened. You’ll want to place the food in a location is that away from sun light and isn’t moist or humid.
2. Use the plastic lid. The plastic cap on your number #10 can doesn’t come with your order for fashion’s sake! Once the top has been popped, place the plastic lid back on the can to keep air away from the food.
3. Reseal the food in Ziploc or metalized (Mylar) bag. Many people have seen great success taking the food out of the can and putting it in airtight re-sealable baggies. Push the air out as much as possible and put the bags back in the can for exterior puncture proofing.
4. Vacuum bags. The popular vacuum seal bags that you see on infomercials aren’t just for packing away tons of clothes. These “As Seen on TV” products also can do a great job taking the air out of food pouches which can in turn be placed back into the #10 can.
5. Refrigerate if possible. Like we mentioned before, a cool location is great for extending the length of your opened can of food storage and a fridge is a great place for it. While not everyone has fridge space for a large number of opened cans you could put the trickier items like freeze-dried fruits and veggies and leave the can of instant oats in the pantry.
6. Ignore some manufacturer recommendations. You might be scratching your head on this one but yes, you read that correctly.
Some food brands tell you that the food must be eaten as short as a week after opening. That simply isn’t the case with all of the food products we sell. For years, our company break room has been loaded to the ceiling with dented cans that that are free game for the employees to eat. From our experience it is good for up to 6-12 months depending on the food item - not a week or two.
These are just a couple of the more popular methods to extend opened can shelf life, what do you and your family do to assure the food is in optimal shape?