Longer-Term Storage—30 Years or More

   Properly packaged, low-moisture foods stored at room temperature or cooler (75F/24C or lower) remain nutritious and edible much longer than previously thought according to findings of recent scientific studies. Estimated shelf life for many products has increased to 30 years or more (see chart for new estimates of shelf life). Previous estimates of longevity were based on "best-if-used-by" recommendations and experience. Though not studied, sugar, salt, baking soda (essential for soaking beans), and vitamin C in tablet form also store well long-term. Some basic foods do need more frequent rotation, such as vegetable oil every 1 to 2 years.

While there is a decline in nutritional quality and taste over time, depending on the original quality of food and how it was processed, packaged, and stored, the studies show that even after being stored long-term, the food will help sustain life in an emergency.
New "Life Sustaining" Shelf-Life Estimates (In Years)     
Wheat - 30+                White rice - 30+                           Corn - 30+                   Sugar - 30+     
Pinto beans - 30+       Rolled oats - 30+                         Pasta - 30+                 Potato flakes - 30+      
Apple slices - 30+      Non-fat powdered milk - 20+      Dehydrated carrots - 20+    

CLICK HERE for a PDF list of  Long Term Food items

Packaging Recommendations
Recommended containers for longer-term storage include the following:

These containers, used with oxygen absorber packets, eliminate food-borne insects and help preserve nutritional quality and taste. 

Under certain conditions, you can also use plastic buckets for longer-term storage of wheat, dry beans, and other dry products.

Warning: Botulism poisoning may result if moist products are stored in packaging that reduces oxygen. When stored in airtight containers with oxygen absorbers, products must be dry (about 10% or less moisture content).

Storage Conditions
Storage life can be significantly impacted by the following conditions:

Insects and rodents: Protect products stored in foil pouches and PETE bottles from rodent and insect damage.