Why It's Important To Declutter Your Pantry At Least Once A Year

When prepping or stocking up in case of an emergency, it is important to regularly check your stock for expired items.






I have previously admitted to being a bit of a 'prepper' these past few years and always take advantage of special offers to keep my supplies stocked up. Over the past week, I have been going through all my stores and was a bit shocked to realise how many products had expired and that some were more than a couple of years past their expiry date.



It has become second nature to many of us to ensure that our pantry or food cupboards are well stocked with essential groceries, not all of which are non-perishable and we tend to overlook this until we need to reach for these items. The problem with this is that so many foods expire over time and these foods could be dangerous to your health. Follow this sensible guide to checking and replacing expired foods:



When stocking a pantry or food cupboard for short or long-term, follow food storage guidelines to ensure food safety.







Why it's not safe to eat expired foods

Manufacturers generally list a 'best by' or expiry date on their products and it is best to adhere to this. Eating expired foods could result in food poisoning at worst or an upset tummy. Most first-world countries make it arbitrary for food producers to state the expiry date due to several factors.



While manufacturers make every effort to ensure packaging is as safe as possible, the packaging is affected by moisture, light, transportation and handling. Vacuum sealing preserves quality and freshness but is not intended for long-term storage.





When stocking canned foods, always ensure that cans are not badly dented as these could be considered poisonous.




When purchasing products that will be stored for long periods of time it is essential to factor in the storage conditions. Consider ambient temperature and moisture as well as exposure to direct sunlight as these can have a great impact on food freshness and shelf life.


Manufacturing process

How foods are processed during manufacture also affects their shelf life. For example, canned foods are sealed in airtight containers and subjected to high temperatures that allow them to have a shelf life than many other foods while freezing preserves foods but only for a certain period of time.


When purchasing foods for storage, make a list of expiry or 'best before' dates so that these can be removed and replaced when necessary.





Even if you only do this once a year, emptying or sorting stored foods and groceries will ensure that the foods you keep will not have expired and not cause you harm. For short-term storage try to arrange foods on a first-in first-out basis so that older foods are used before those more recently purchased. A list of supplies, including expiry dates, will help make sorting through a pantry or food cupboard easier and you can even take the opportunity to plan meals to use stored foods before they expire.







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