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Cooking Tips
Storage Pointers

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Prevent contamination of foods by handling foods properly. That means strict cleanliness for anyone handling or preparing foods, as well as making sure that all utensils, equipment and work surfaces are clean. (A solution of 3 T. bleach in 1 quart of warm water will help destroy bacteria on counter tops and other surfaces.)

Store pantry foods away from excessive heat; maintain a temperature of 35-40 degrees in your refrigerator, 0 degrees in your freezer or refrigerator freezer compartment.

Prepare foods for storage carefully. Containers for pantry storage should be clean and tightly closed. Note whether refrigeration is required after opening.

Fresh meat, for refrigerator storage, should be wrapped loosely, just enough to allow air to circulate but not enough to let meat dry out. Raw poultry should be unwrapped, placed on a dish, and covered. Giblets should be wrapped and stored separately.

The rules are reversed for leftovers: they should be tightly covered. (Be particularly careful with uncooked or cooked foods containing eggs.)

For freezing, items should be wrapped tightly in moisture resistant such as freezer wrap or foil.


[ Pantry Storage | Refrigerator & Freezer Storage | Fresh Fruit Storage | Fresh Vegetable Storage ]

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Pantry Storage Pointers

Food ProductStorage Period
(Room Temperature)
Baking powder/soda18 months
Bread/rolls3-5 days
Bread Crumbs6 months
Canned Fruit/vegetables1 year
Cereals6 months
Chocolate, unsweetened18 months
Coffee, vacuum pack1 year (unopened)
Coffee, instant6 months (unopened)
Coffee creamer, dry6 months (opened)
Flour/cake mixes1 year
Gelatin/pudding mixes1 year
Herbs/spices6-12 months (check for flavor)
Milk, canned1 year
Milk, nonfat dry6 months
Molasses2 years
Nuts8 months
Oils/salad dressings3 months
Pancake/pie crust mixes6 months
Pasta/noodles2 years
Peanut butter6 months (unopened)
Potatoes, instant18 months
Rice, white2 years
Sauces, condiments, relishes1 year (unopened)
Shortening8 months
Sodas/mixers3 months
Sugar, granulated2 years
Sugar, brown, confectioners'4 months
Syrups/honey1 year
Tea18 months

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