Saturday, January 22, 2011

Food Storage Conditions and Shelf Life

 Although food storage guidelines vary depending on the type of food, all storage life can be significantly impacted by the following conditions:

Temperature:
Store products at a temperature of 75°F/24°C (room temperature) or lower whenever possible – the lower the better.
 If storage temperatures are higher than this, faster rotation of products is needed to maintain food quality.

Moisture and Elements:
All storage areas should be kept dry.
It is best to keep containers off of the floor to allow for proper air circulation.
Remember if storing food in your basement to keep it off of the floor.  If your basement flooded; from water, sewage backup, etc. everything on the floor risks the possibility of contamination or spoilage.  A few inches could provide you with plenty of time to relocate items if necessary.

Light: 
For the most part, light should be kept to a minimum, if not eliminated completely.
Especially protect cooking oil and products stored in PETE bottles from light.

Insects and Rodents:
All food storage should ideally be packaged in containers that will keep rodents out.
Avoid (or protect) foil pouches, PETE bottles, cardboard, plastic and paper bags, or any other container that rodents could penetrate.
If evidence of rodent activity is presented, properly clean food containers before use.


The following is a continually updated list which describes the proper temperature, packaging conditions, storage location and shelf life of individual foods.  Research is from my own experience and/or other sources.  For the most part, the shelf life given suggests the ‘best if used before date’, unless otherwise noted.

Keep in mind that there is a big difference between each items’ Shelf Life vs. Life Sustaining qualities.  

With all of the advances in food storage, different companies now offer multiple items with extended shelf life.  Keep in mind that this list is a general guideline.  For best results, check each packaging label.

FOOD STORAGE CONDITIONS AND SHELF LIFE

Food Item / Description
Storing Conditions
Shelf Life

A
Apples,
      Fresh
Temperature: 32oF
Packaging: separated in boxes
Storage: moderately moist cellar
6 months
B
Bacon,
      Frozen
Temperature: 0oF (freezer)
Packaging: original container / air tight freezer bags
Notes: Storage time indicated is for quality only.  Frozen foods remain safe indefinitely.
1-2 months
Bakery Products -   
      Purchased (rolls / cakes / cookies)
Temperature: 70oF
Packaging: original container / polyethylene bags or cartons
Storage: kitchen
4 days
Bakery Products -   
      Purchased  Frozen (rolls / cakes / cookies)
Temperature: 0oF
Packaging: original container / polyethylene bags or cartons
Storage: freezer
6 months
Baking Powder
Temperature: 0oF (freezer) – 70oF (room temperature)
Packaging: Store in original sealed can.
Storage: Moisture free environment – moisture will cause a chemical change.  Excessive heat may lead to deterioration.
Notes: Purchase double-acting baking powder for long term storage; which causes dough to rise immediately, then again when heated.
Indefinite – When kept sealed and free of moisture and contamination.

Once opened = approximately 6 months.  To test, mix 1 tsp. in 1/3 c. warm water.  Bubbles = still good.
Baking Soda
Temperature: 0oF (freezer) – 70oF (room temperature)
Oxygen:
Packaging: Purchase boxed baking soda.  Keep in its original container, and store inside of a stronger container, such as a Mylar-type bag.  Seal inside bags with oxygen absorbers.
Storage: Moisture free environment – moisture will cause a chemical change.  Excessive heat may lead to deterioration.
Best if used within 18-24 months.

Can absorb odors from the storage area, even through packaging.  Will still remain acceptable for use for several years.

Bananas,
      Fresh
Temperature: 60-70oF
Packaging: ventilated container
Storage: basement
1 week
Barley
Temperature: 70oF
Packaging: Sealed with oxygen absorber
8 years – longer if stored in colder temperatures
Batter,
      Raw and Frozen
Temperature: 70oF
Packaging: rigid plastic or metal container
Storage: cool/dry basement
Notes: Storage time indicated is for quality only.  Frozen foods remain safe indefinitely.
12 months
Beans,
      Dry (Adzuki, Black, Black-eyed, Black Turtle, Garbanzo, Great Northern, Kidney, Lentils, Lima, Mung, Navy, Pink, Pinto, Small Red, Soy, Split-pea)

Temperature: The colder the better
Oxygen: oxygen absorbers included in packaging will extend shelf life and minimize off-flavors.
Packaging: Best stored with absence of light (which will quickly fade bean color) and oxygen (which can lead to rancidity of bean oils). 
#10 cans or Mylar-type bags are the best choices. 
Canning jars are suitable for smaller quantities proving the jars are stored in a dark place.
Polyethylene bags =  1 year or more.
#10 cans or Mylar-type bags, with oxygen removed = 10+ years.
Vitamin degradation occurs after 2-3 years, with most vitamins no longer present after 5.  Other nutritional components should remain unchanged during long term storage.
Beets,
      Fresh
Temperature: 32oF
Packaging: ventilated box
Storage: moist pit or cellar
6 months
Berries,
      Fresh
Temperature: 38-40oF (refrigerator)
Packaging: ventilated container
1-2 weeks
Bread,
      Purchased
Temperature: 70o
Packaging: original container
Storage: basement
5 days
Bread,
     Frozen - Purchased
Temperature: 70o
Packaging: original container
Notes: Storage time indicated is for quality only.  Frozen foods remain safe indefinitely.
6 months
Bread,
     Home-made from fresh whole wheat
Temperature: 70o
Packaging: polyethylene bags
Storage: basement
3 days
Beef,
      Canned (in chunks with natural juices)
Temperature: 70oF (refrigerator)
Packaging: original packaging
Storage: cool basement
30 months
Beef,
      Chipped
Temperature: 38-40oF (refrigerator)
Packaging: vacuum package
28-42 days
Beef,
      Corned
Temperature: 38-40oF (refrigerator)
Packaging: original packaging
2 weeks
Beef,
      Dried
Temperature: 70oF
Packaging: restructured and dried in a can
Storage: cool basement
18 months
Beef,
      Fresh
Temperature: 38-40oF (refrigerator)
Packaging: original packaging
4 days
Beef,
      Frozen
Temperature: 0oF (freezer)
Packaging: air and moisture-proof container
Notes: Storage time indicated is for quality only.  Frozen foods remain safe indefinitely.
Uncooked: 10 months
Cooked: 2-3 months
Beef,
      Ground - fresh
Temperature: 38-40oF (refrigerator)
Packaging: original packaging
1-2 days
Beef,
      Ground – frozen
Temperature: 0oF (freezer)
Packaging: air and moisture-proof container
Notes: Storage time indicated is for quality only.  Frozen foods remain safe indefinitely.
3-4 months
Bread,
     Home-made from white flour
Temperature: 70o
Packaging: polyethylene bags
Storage: basement
5 days
C
Cabbage,
      Fresh
Temperature: 32oF
Packaging: ventilated box
Storage: moderately moist pit or cellar
6 months
Cake Mixes
Temperature: 70o
Packaging: original container
Storage: basement
8 months
Canned / Bottled Foods
      (from the store), referring to any foods canned in liquid
Temperature: above 32°F and below 70°F (the colder the better).  Freezing should be avoided since the expansion of the food during freezing may rupture (metal) or break (glass) the container, or break the seal on lids on glass bottles, and allow the food to be contaminated.
Packaging: original package
Storing: Cool, dark, dry space away from furnaces, pipes and places where temperatures change like un-insulated attics.  Always store metal cans off of the floor, especially bare concrete, which can wick moisture and encourage rusting.
Date on can (2-5 years from manufacture date). 
Properly processed foods do not become unsafe when stored longer than the recommended time, but palatability and nutrient quality are diminished over time.
10+ years is not recommended
Canned / Bottled Foods
      (made from home)
Temperature: above 32°F and below 70°F (the colder the better).  Freezing should be avoided since the expansion of the food during freezing may rupture (metal) or break (glass) the container, or break the seal on lids on glass bottles, and allow the food to be contaminated.
Packaging: Home canners should only can in mason-style canning jars with two piece metal lids.
Storing: Cool, dark, dry space away from furnaces, pipes and places where temperatures change like un-insulated attics. 
Recommended: use within one year; two years at most.
Properly processed foods do not become unsafe when stored longer than the recommended time, but palatability and nutrient quality are diminished over time.
Carrots,
      Fresh
Temperature: 32oF
Packaging: ventilated boxes or bags
Storage: moist pit or cellar
6 months
Cereals,
      Cold Breakfast (corn, oat, wheat, rice)
Temperature: 70oF
Packaging: original container
Storage: basement
1 year
Cheese,
      Swiss
Temperature: 38-40oF (refrigerator)
Packaging: vacuum package
6 months
Cheeses,
      Dry
Temperature: 60-70oF
Packaging: original container
Storage: basement
3 months
Cheeses,
      Natural American
Temperature: 38-40oF (refrigerator)
Packaging: vacuum package
6 months
Cheeses,
      Processed American
Temperature: 38-40oF (refrigerator)
Packaging: vacuum package
8 months
Cheeses,
      Spreads, dips, etc.
Temperature: 38-40oF (refrigerator)
Packaging: original container
21 days
Chicken,
      Fresh
Temperature: 38-40oF (refrigerator)
Packaging: original package
5 days
Chicken,
      Frozen
Temperature: 0oF (freezer)
Packaging: original package / air and moisture proof container
Notes: Storage time indicated is for quality only.  Frozen foods remain safe indefinitely.
Whole, uncooked: 12 months
Parts, uncooked: 9 months
Giblets, uncooked: 3-4 months
Cooked:  4 months
Cornmeal
Temperature: 70oF
Packaging: original container
Storage: basement
1 year
Cottage Cheese,
      Creamed
Temperature: 38-40oF (refrigerator)
Packaging: vacuum package
14 days
Cream Cheese
Temperature: 38-40oF (refrigerator)
Packaging: vacuum package
21 days
Crackers/Pretzels/Cereal Snacks
Temperature: 70oF
Packaging: original container
Storage: basement
3 months
Cream,
      Fresh (light and heavy, half and half)
Temperature: 38-40oF (refrigerator)
Packaging: original container
14 days
Cream Substitutes
Temperature: 60-70oF, or 0oF (frozen)
Packaging: original container
Storage: basement or freezer
24 months
D
Dough,
      Raw and Frozen
Temperature: 0oF (freezer)
Packaging: original container
3 months
E
Eggs,
     Powdered (Dried)
Temperature: 70oF
Packaging: original package
Storage: cool basement
36 months
Eggs,
    Frozen – whole or separated
Temperature: 0oF (freezer)
Oxygen: try to eliminate as much as possible – air bubbles trapped in eggs will result in a gummy texture once thawed.
Packaging: separate yolks from whites, OR lightly whisk each egg.  Freeze individually in ice-cube trays.  Store in airtight freezer bags or containers.
Up to 1 year
Eggs,
     Fresh
Temperature: 38-40oF (refrigerator) or slightly lower.
Notes: Putting oil, Vaseline, or other products on the shell will not protect it – eggs should always be refrigerated.
10 weeks (from being laid) – approximately 4 weeks past the “sell-by” date on carton. 
Egg Substitutes
Temperature: 0oF (freezer)
Packaging: original package
3 months
Extracts
Temperature: 70oF
Packaging: original package – keep lids screwed on tightly
Storage: cool, dry place
Long time, but flavor will gradually lose potency
F
Fish,
      Canned
Temperature: 70oF
Packaging: original package
Storage: cool basement
18 months
Fish,
      Frozen
Temperature: 0oF (freezer)
Packaging: original package / air and moisture proof containers
Notes: Storage time indicated is for quality only.  Frozen foods remain safe indefinitely.
3 – 6 months (varies with species)
Fish,
      Smoked
Temperature: 38-40oF (refrigerator)
Packaging: vacuum package
4 weeks
Fish,
      Shellfish – Frozen
Temperature: 0oF (freezer)
Packaging: original package
3 months
Flour,
      All-Purpose (white enriched)
Temperature: 70o  
Packaging: 10-12% moisture sealed container
Storage: Basement
12 months
Flour,
      Wheat
Temperature: 70o (basement or kitchen)
Packaging: 10-12% moisture sealed container
2 weeks
Frankfurters
Temperature: 38-40oF (refrigerator)
Packaging: vacuum package
3 weeks
Freezer Meals,
      Home made & Frozen meal entrees
Temperature: 0o(freezer)
Packaging: Air tight sealed bags/packages (freezer bags work best)
Notes: Storage time indicated is for quality only.  Frozen foods remain safe indefinitely.
3 months
Frozen Foods,
      Any
Temperature: 0o(freezer)
Packaging: Air tight sealed bags/packages (freezer bags work best)
Notes: As long as the quality of food is good before freezing, and it is kept at temperatures of 0o of lower, it will not go bad.  Freezer burn and aging will alter the taste, texture and quality, but frozen food will still be safe to consume.
Indefinite – see notes
Fruits,
      Canned (including canned fruit juices)
Temperature: 70oF
Packaging: original container
Storage: dry basement
2 years
Fruits,
      Citrus (fresh)
Temperature:  32oF
Packaging: Ventilated container
Storage: moderately moist cellar
8 weeks
Fruits,
      Dehydrated
Temperature: 70oF
Packaging: Air and moisture proof container
Storage: dry basement
8 months
Fruits,
      Frozen (including fruit juices)
Temperature: 0oF (freezer)
Packaging: original container
Notes: (see frozen foods, any)
8-12 months
Fruit Juice,
      Dehydrated
Temperature: 70oF
Packaging: Air and moisture-proof container
Storage: dry basement
12 months
G
Gravy,
      Frozen (beef or poultry)
Temperature: 0oF (freezer)
Packaging: Air and moisture-proof container
Notes: Storage time indicated is for quality only.  Frozen foods remain safe indefinitely.
2-3 months
H
Ham,
      Frozen
Temperature: 0oF (freezer)
Packaging: Air and moisture-proof container or original packaging
Notes: Storage time indicated is for quality only.  Frozen foods remain safe indefinitely.
1-2 months
Honey
Temperature: 70oF – Honey should not be allowed to get too hot or freeze – this will encourage crystallization.
Oxygen: Removing oxygen for long term honey storage is not required and not recommended
Packaging: Glass canning jars and #10 cans work best.
Store in a cool, dark place
Notes: Commercial, filtered liquid honey will last the longest in storage.  Comb honey and unfiltered honey do not store as well (due to crystallization).
Indefinite – although best if used within 2 years for quality concerns (crystallization).  Color and flavor may change over time, but is still safe to use.
If honey crystallizes, heat briefly in hot water or microwave
Hot dogs,
      Frozen
Temperature: 0oF (freezer)
Packaging: Air and moisture-proof container or original packaging
Notes: Storage time indicated is for quality only.  Frozen foods remain safe indefinitely.
1-2 months
I
Ice Cream
      (including  sherbet)
Temperature: 0oF (freezer)
Packaging: air and moisture-proof container
Notes: Storage time indicated is for quality only.  Frozen foods remain safe indefinitely.
30 days
Ice Milk
Temperature: 0oF (freezer)
Packaging: air and moisture-proof container
30 days
Instant Clear Gel
Store in a cool, dry place
Noticeable loss in potency after 3-4 years
J
Jams and Jellies
Temperature: 70oF
Packaging: original container
Storage: dry basement
18 months
K
Ketchup
Temperature: 70oF
Packaging: original container
Storage: dry basement
24 months
L
Lamb,
      Fresh
Temperature: 38-40oF (refrigerator)
Packaging: original package
4 days
Lamb,
      Frozen
Temperature: 0oF (freezer)
Packaging: air and moisture-proof container
Notes: Storage time indicated is for quality only.  Frozen foods remain safe indefinitely.
8 months
Lentils
Temperature: 70oF
Packaging: rigid plastic or metal container
Storage: cool/dry basement
12 months
M
Meats,
      Lunch (processed)
Temperature: 38-40oF (refrigerator)
Packaging: original package (vacuum package)
4 weeks
Meats,
      Lunch (processed, Frozen
Temperature: 0oF (freezer)
Packaging: Original package / air and moisture proof containers
Notes: Storage time indicated is for quality only.  Frozen foods remain safe indefinitely.
1-2 months
Milk,
      Canned - condensed
Temperature: 60-70oF
Packaging: can inverted at 2 month intervals
Storage: basement
12 months
Milk,
      Canned – evaporated
Temperature: 60-70oF
Packaging: can inverted at 2 month intervals
Storage: basement
12 months
Milk,
      Whole - Dehydrated (dried - powder) 
Temperature:
Packaging:
Storage:
Notes: dried whole milk still has milk fat contained in it and is therefore not suitable for long term storage.

Milk,
     Fat Free - Dehydrated (dried – powder)  Instant or Regular
Temperature: as cool as possible
Oxygen: oxygen absorbers should be used to extend shelf life and minimize off-flavors.
Packaging: air and moisture-free container.  Mylar-type bags and #10 cans are best for large quantities.  Canning jars are suitable for smaller amounts if kept away from light.
Storage: basement
Temperature Stored At:
50oF or below = 52 months
70oF = 24-36 months
90oF = 3 months
Milk,
      Fresh (whole, 2%, 1%, skim, chocolate. buttermilk)
Temperature: 38-40oF (refrigerator)
Packaging: original container
14 days
Molasses
Temperature:
Oxygen:
Packaging:
After opening, store at room temperature

Muffin Mixes
Temperature: 70o
Packaging: original container
Storage: basement
8 months
N
Nuts
Temperature: 70oF
Packaging: original package
Storage: cool/dry basement
12 months –
They will last much longer in the fridge, and even longer in a freezer.
O
Oat Groats

Temperature: 70o
Packaging: sealed, without oxygen
Storage: cool, dark place with consistent temperatures
8 years – longer if storage temperature is cooler (up to 30 years)
Oats,
     Hot breakfast cereal
Temperature: 70o
Packaging: original container
Storage: basement
6 months
Oats,
     Regular (rolled)
Temperature: 70o
Packaging: sealed, without oxygen
Storage: cool, dark place with consistent temperatures
8 years – longer if storage temperature is cooler (up to 30 years)
Oil,
     Olive
Temperature: Room Temperature
Packaging: Original package
Storage: Cool, dark place
Up to 2 years – rancid oil will smell ‘off’
Oil sealed in some metal containers can last up to 15 years.
Onions,
      Fresh and dry
Temperature: 32oF
Packaging: net bag or open basket
Storage: cool dry area
6 months
P
Pancake Mixes
Temperature: 70o
Packaging: original container
Storage: basement
8 months
Pasta,
      Dry
Temperature: 70o
Packaging: 10-12% moisture sealed container
Storage: basement
2 years
Pears,
      Fresh
Temperature: 32oF
Packaging: ventilated container
Storage: moderately moist cellar
4 months
Peas,
      Dry
Temperature: 70oF
Packaging: rigid plastic or metal container
Storage: cool/dry basement
12 months
Pickles
Temperature: 70oF
Packaging: original container
Storage: dry basement
12 months
Popcorn Kernels
Temperature: 70o
Packaging: original container
Storage: basement
Sealed in a can = 3 years
Comes in a bag = 3 months
Pork,
      Cured
Temperature: 38-40oF (refrigerator)
Packaging: vacuum package
4 weeks
Pork,
      Fresh
Temperature: 38-40oF (refrigerator)
Packaging: original package
4 days
Pork,
      Frozen
Temperature: 0oF (freezer)
Packaging: air and moisture-proof container
Notes: Storage time indicated is for quality only.  Frozen foods remain safe indefinitely.
4-6 months
Pork,
      Sausage
Temperature: 38-40oF (refrigerator)
Packaging: original package
4 days
Pork,
      Sausage (frozen)
Temperature: 0oF (freezer
Packaging: Original package / air and moisture proof container
Notes: Storage time indicated is for quality only.  Frozen foods remain safe indefinitely.
1-2 months
Potato,
      Canned
Temperature: 70oF
Packaging: leave in original container
Storage: dry basement
2 years, 4 months
Potato,
      Chips
Temperature: 70oF
Packaging: leave in original
1 month
Potato,
      Dehydrated
Temperature: 70oF
Packaging: leave in original container
Storage: dry basement
2 years, 4 months
Potato,
     Fresh
Temperature: 34-40o
Packaging: ventilated boxes or bags
Storage: in a moderately moist pit or cellar
6 months
Potato,
      Frozen
Temperature:  00F (keep in freezer)
Packaging: leave in original package
Notes: Storage time indicated is for quality only.  Frozen foods remain safe indefinitely.
8 months
Pumpkin,
      Fresh
Temperature: 55oF
Packaging: ventilated box
Storage: moderately dry basement
6 months
Q
Quinoa
Temperature: 70oF
Packaging: Sealed with oxygen absorber

8 years – longer if stored in colder temperatures
R
Raisins
Temperature: 70o
Packaging: original container for best-if-used by date.  OR, store in vacuum bags, PETE containers, cans, or mason jars.
Storage: basement
2 years
Raisins have too much moisture for long term storage.
Rice,
     Brown and White Enriched, and specialty varieties
Temperature: Best stored at 40oF or below, or up to 70oF – the cooler the better
Oxygen: Oxygen absorbers can be used to preserve rice quality, and protect from insect infestation.
Packaging: Tightly sealed 10-12% moisture sealed container  PETE containers, glass jars, #10 cans lined with food-grade enamel lining and Mylar-type bags work best for long-term storage. 
Storage: basement
Notes: Inspect rice for insects or discoloration prior to preparing for home storage. 
Once opened = 1-2 years

70oF + oxygen absorbers  = 10 years.

40oF or below + sealed in oxygen-free containers = 30 years.
Rye
Temperature: 70oF
Packaging: Sealed with oxygen absorber

8 years – longer if stored in colder temperatures
S
Salt,
      Iodized
Temperature: 0oF (freezer) – 70oF (room temperature)
Oxygen:
Packaging: Store in its original container inside of a larger, stronger packaging, such as a Mylar-type bag.  Include oxygen absorbers inside Mylar bag.  Salt can be poured into canning jars and sealed with oxygen absorbers.
Storage: Moisture free environment – moisture will cause the salt to cake.  Excessive heat may lead to deterioration.
Notes: Purchase plain iodized salt
Indefinite –
When kept free of moisture and contamination.

Can absorb odors from the storage area, even through packaging.  Will still remain acceptable for use for several years.
Soups and Stews,
      Frozen
Temperature: 0oF (freezer)
Packaging: Air and moisture-proof container or original packaging
Notes: Storage time indicated is for quality only.  Frozen foods remain safe indefinitely.
2-3 months
Sour Cream
Temperature: 38-40oF (refrigerator)
Packaging: original container
14 days
Squash,
      Winter (fresh)
Temperature: 55oF
Packaging: ventilated box
Storage: moderately dry basement
6 months
Sugars,
      Brown,  Crystal, Confectioners (powdered), Granulated (white)
Temperature: 70oF
Oxygen: Oxygen absorbers are not required or recommended for long term storage.
Packaging: Storage containers should be opaque, airtight, and moisture/odor-proof.  Typical retail packaging is not suitable for long term storage.  Polyethylene bags, Mylar-type bags, food-grade plastic buckets, glass canning jars, and #10 cans are all suitable for dry sugar storage.
Storage: Store in a cool, dry location (not the refrigerator).  Moisture makes granulated sugar hard and lumpy, which creates problems in usage and there is no easy method to restore afterward.  Store in an odor-free area, as sugar can absorb strong odors – even through plastic packaging.
Indefinite – although best if used within 2 years for quality concerns (lumpiness or hardening).  Color and flavor may change over time, but is still safe to use.
Brown sugars have natural moisture and do not store as well for long term storage.
Sweet Potato,
      Canned
Temperature: 70oF
Packaging: original container
Storage: dry basement
2 years, 4 months
Sweet Potato,
      Fresh
Temperature: 55-60o F
Packaging: ventilated boxes or bags
Storage: dry basement
6 months
Syrups,
    Sugar
(corn, maple, etc.)
Temperature:  70oF - Sugar syrups should not be allowed to get too hot or freeze – this will encourage crystallization.
Packaging: Glass canning jars and #10 cans work best for liquid syrups
Storage: Store in a cool, dry location (not the refrigerator).  Moisture makes granulated sugar hard and lumpy, which creates problems in usage and there is no easy method to restore afterward.  Store in an odor-free area, as sugar can absorb strong odors – even through plastic packaging.
Indefinite – although best if used within 2 years for quality concerns (crystallization).   Color and flavor may change over time, but is still safe to use.
T
Tomatoes,
      Fresh (ripe)
Temperature:  38-40oF (refrigerator)
Packaging: flexible package
2 weeks
Tomatoes
      Green – Mature
Temperature: 55-70o F
Packaging: flexible package
Storage: moderately dry basement
4-6 weeks
Turkey,
      Fresh
Temperature: 38-40oF (refrigerator)
Packaging: original package
Notes: Storage time indicated is for quality only.  Frozen foods remain safe indefinitely.
5 days
Turkey,
      Frozen
Temperature: 0oF (freezer)
Packaging: original package / air and moisture proof container
Notes: Storage time indicated is for quality only.  Frozen foods remain safe indefinitely.
Whole, uncooked: 12 months
Parts, uncooked: 9 months
Giblets, uncooked: 3-4 months
Cooked:  4 months
V
Veal,
      Fresh
Temperature: 38-40oF (refrigerator)
Packaging: original package
4 days
Veal,
      Frozen
Temperature: 0oF (freezer)
Packaging: air and moisture-proof container
8 months
Vegetables,
      Canned
Temperature: 70oF
Packaging: original container
Storage: dry basement
2 years
Vegetables,
      Dehydrated
Temperature: 70oF
Packaging: air and moisture-proof container
Storage: dry basement
8 months
Vegetables,
      Fresh, dark green
Temperature: 38-40oF (refrigerator)
Packaging: flexible package
7 days
Vegetables,
      Frozen
Temperature: 0oF (freezer)
Packaging: original container
Notes: (see frozen foods, any) Properly blanching before freezing stops enzyme actions which cause loss of flavor, color, texture and nutrients.  Blanching time varies depending on the vegetable.
8-12 months
Vegetables,
      Other (fresh)
Temperature: 38-40oF (refrigerator)
Packaging: flexible package
1-2 weeks
Vegetable Juice,
      Canned
Temperature: 70oF
Packaging: original container
Storage: dry basement
12 months
W

Wheat,
      Whole - raw
Temperature: 40o-60oF is optimal.  Freezing temperatures will not damage wheat.
Oxygen: It is not necessary to store wheat in the absence of oxygen unless insects are present.
Packaging: 10-12% moisture sealed container; such as Mylar-type bags, polyethylene bags, plastic buckets, or #10 cans.  Polyethylene bags and 5-gallon plastic buckets will not maintain an oxygen-free environment.  Over time oxygen will re-enter the container and this may allow larvae to grow to adults and cause an infestation during storage.  For long term storage, use of #10 cans is best. 
Storage: basement; store containers off of the floor – especially concrete.
5 years if stored in ‘hot’ temperatures (garage or attic).   
Cold temperatures (basement), when properly packaged, can last 25-30 years.
Wheat,
     Cracked
Temperature:
Oxygen:
Packaging:

Wheat,
     Hot breakfast cereal
Temperature: 70o
Packaging: original container
Storage: basement
6 months
Wild Game,
      Frozen
Temperature: 0oF (freezer)
Packaging: Air and moisture-proof container or original packaging
Notes: Storage time indicated is for quality only.  Frozen foods remain safe indefinitely.
8-12 months
Y
Yeast
Temperature: 0oF (freezer) – 70oF (room temperature)
Packaging: Purchased yeast in foil-lined sachets: store sachets inside of another stronger container, such as Mylar-type bags.  Seal packages inside bags using oxygen absorbers.  Yeast sachets can also be placed into canning jars and sealed without oxygen absorbers.
Storage: Moisture free environment – moisture will cause yeast to lose viability.  Excessive heat may lead to deterioration.
Notes: To test if yeast is still good: add 1 tsp. sugar to ¼ c. warm (~100oF) water.  Stir in 1 envelope (2 ¼ tsp) yeast and let stand 10 minutes.  If yeast foams to ½ c. mark, it is active.
Best if used within 1 year

However, if kept sealed and cold/frozen, the viability of yeast can last several years (10+).

Yogurt
Temperature: 38-40oF (refrigerator)
Packaging: original container
14 days

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