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Ask Tess: Can I store pre-packaged food together?

A reader asks whether or not to store pre-packaged food together? Tess explains why food purchased at stores are designed in short-term use food packaging and how to protect your food sources from insects and other food enemies.

Hi Tess,

I was wondering if you do store pre-packaged food, can you store different items together or do they all need to be the same? For instance, all pasta or can you mix pasta with popcorn and beans etc.


A Reader


Well, the answer is yes and no. Yes, you could technically do this, but you are taking a gamble with your food supply. Note: Most of the dry goods we purchase at stores are packaged for short-term use. The clear and flimsy plastic packaging will not hold up during long-term storage. If you intend on keeping these foods in its original packaging you need to protect them from enemies of your food, and from the flimsy containers you bought them in. Therefore, store them in a sturdy 5 or 6-gallon plastic pail. This will further protect your food sources.

However, keep in mind that the USDA allows certain “defects” in our food sources and mold, insects and insect’s eggs are on that list of approved defects. Therefore, if you can take certain steps such as using Mylar bags, oxygen absorbers, etc., to prevent these food enemies from destroying your food, you will have more peace of mind.

In the case of long-term food storage, it’s best to take the time and do it right. Follow these long-term food storage tips.

I hope this helps.



This article was originally published at Ready Nutrition™ on August 12th, 2013

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