Complication Free Food Storage Rotation

Posted on: October 13, 2015

By Lee Flynn

Stored food will last for a while but it will not last forever. This is exactly why a good plan for rotating the food being stored is important. It will save money by eliminating the need to throw out groceries that have outlived their shelf life and it could prevent illness from food borne bacteria.

Keeping track of the shelf life of food is easier than you may think. Most foods have a “use by” or an expiration date. This is the date the unopened product should be used by for optimum quality. Some items have a longer shelf life than others.

Putting Together an Organized Plan for Storing Food

1. Plan the storage space.

Perhaps the most important part of storing food is to planning the space. Food that is not easily accessible is food that can go to waste. Shelve that revolve are an excellent idea. They allow you to easily move the food so the FIFO or First In, First Out strategy can be used. This strategy ensures that food stored first will be used first.
Other options include using rolling storage bins, Lazy Susans, and sloped shelves.

2. Place food items in order.

This will help you to find things more quickly as well as stocking them using the FIFO strategy. For example, place foods such as canned beans, canned corn, and other canned vegetables on the same shelf. When you are ready to use a can remove it from the extreme right. When you restock, add new cans on the left and push the existing cans to the right. If you are using deep shelves, place newly purchased food items in the back and pull the older ones to the front of the shelf. Grocery stores use this method when restocking shelves.

3. Date food items.

Although most food has “use by” dates, they are generally in small print and not easy to see. Use a marker to put the month and year the food was purchased on the top of cans, packages, and boxes. Make sure and check the “use by” dates first so you do not end up with items nearing the end of their shelf life. This tip also aids in helping to rotate the food correctly and efficient food storage. It is easier to see to make sure you are using the oldest first.

4. Keep an inventory list.

An inventory list will help you to keep track of the food you have on hand and what needs to be restocked. Check off items as you use them or inventory your food on a regular basis. This is particularly helpful when rotating food by using from the back and pulling older items to the front.

5. Check food storage areas on a regular basis.

This ensures that items are not sitting on the shelf for a prolonged period. If there are some that are not used as frequently and have been sitting for a while, pull them out and use them as soon as possible. This will prevent you from buying more of something than you need and reduces food being wasted.

Using these tips will allow your food dollars to go further because it will cut down on waste. Knowing what you have on hand keeps you from buying more than you need and increasing the risk that it will go bad before it is used. Organizing your food storage also makes it easier to find the items you are looking for when preparing meals. Rather than a cluttered shelf with food you forgot you had purchased, it will be simple to find that can of mixed vegetables you need for your home made soup.

2 thoughts on “Complication Free Food Storage Rotation

  1. Nowhere in the article does it state to throw things away if they are older than their printed “use by” or expiration date. Rather, it states to organize your food storage such that you use the oldest food first and, in order to do that, you can use the expiration dates as a guideline.

  2. You need to do a little research BEFORE you do a article. The best by date is not to throw it out after this date. People that do this has more money than they have brains. If stored right flour will last for a very long time but if you go by the best by date I would have to throw out over 100 pounds of flour , sugar and several other items. Company’s did this so you would tell others to throw items out to buy more. There is a website or sites that tells you how long items are good for AFTER the best by date. I think you need to go read a few. The rest of the article was ok.

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