Food storage

Food storage

Food storage is both a traditional domestic skill and is important industrially. Food is stored by almost every human society and by many animals. Storing of food has several main purposes:

*preparation for periods of scarcity or famine
*taking advantage of short term surplus of food as at harvest time
*enabling a better balanced diet throughout the year
*preparing for special events and celebrations
*planning for catastrophe or emergency
*protection against predators or others

Domestic food storage


Grain is stored in rigid sealed containers to prevent ingress of moisture or attack by vermin. For domestic quantities metal cans are used (in the USA the smallest practical grain storage uses closed-top #10 metal cans).

Storage in grain sacks is not effective. Mold and pests destroy a 25 kg cloth sack of grain in a year — even if stored off the ground in a dry area. On the ground or damp concrete, the time is as little as three days, and the grain might have to be dried before it can be milled. Food stored under unsuitable conditions should not be purchased or used because of risk of spoilage. To test whether grain is still good, sprout some. If it sprouts, it is still good, but if not, it should not be eaten. It may take up to a week for grains to sprout. When in doubt, throw it out.


Unpreserved meat has only a relatively short life in storage. Pork should be eaten within one day but beef and venison improve with up to 5 days storage in a cold room. Dry aging techniques are sometimes used to tenderize specialty gourmet meats by hanging them in carefully controlled environments for up to 21 days. Semi-dried meats like salamis and country style hams are processed first with salt, smoke, sugar, or acid, or other "cures" then hung in cool dry storage for extended periods, sometimes exceeding a year.

Fish and shellfish

It is unsafe to store fish or shellfish without preservation. Fresh shellfish and whitefish should be eaten within a few hours of harvesting..

Use of stored food

Guidance for surviving emergency conditions in many parts of the world recommends acquiring a limited range of grains (usually corn, wheat and beans supplemented with oil, dried milk, and vitamins) and then preparing them in simple ways for long-term survival. This may not be wholly practical because of appetite exhaustion. An unvarying diet of staples prepared in the same way causes most people to eat less. Garden-grown fruits and vegetables, freeze-dried, canned, and fresh-baked foods are essential supplements to such a program.

A special virtue of home stored foods is their low cost. Costs of dry bulk foods (before preparation) are often less than 1/4 of convenience and fresh foods purchased at supermarkets.

Commercial food storage

Grain and beans are stored in tall grain elevators, almost always at a rail head near the point of production. The grain is shipped to a final user in hopper cars. In the former Soviet Union, where harvest was poorly controlled, grain was often irradiated at the point of production to suppress mold and insects. In the U.S., threshing and drying is performed in the field, and transport is nearly sterile and in large containers that effectively suppress pest access, so irradiation is not required. At any given time, the U.S. usually has about two weeks of stored grains.

Fresh fruits and vegetables are either packed in plastic cups in cardboard boxes for fresh premium markets, or placed in large plastic tubs for sauce and soup processors. Fruits and vegetables are usually refrigerated at the earliest possible moment, and even so have a shelf life of two weeks or less.

There is a thriving but small market in bulk vegetables and convenience foods for campers.

In the USA meat animals are usually transported live, slaughtered at a major distribution point, hung and transported for two days to a week in refrigerated rail cars, and then butchered and sold locally. Before refrigerated rail cars, meat had to be transported live, and this placed its cost so high that only farmers and the wealthy could afford it every day. In Europe much meat is transported live and slaughtered close to the point of sale. In much of Africa and Asia most meat is for local populations is reared , slaughtered and eaten locally which is believed to be much less stressful for the animals involved and requires very little meat storage capacity. In Australia and New Zealand where a large proportion of meat production is for export meat is stored in very large freezer plants before being shipped overseas in freezer ships.

ee also

*Food safety
*Food preservation

External links

* [ US Government Food Safety Guidelines]
* [,11677,1706-1,00.html Provident Living]
* [ - Free way to calculate and keep track of your food storage]
* [ USDA Resources for Food Safety and Storage]
* [ Food Storage: Refrigerator and Freezer]
* [ Alan T. Hagen's FAQ on Food Storage]
* [ Food Storage Guidelines For Consumers]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Поможем написать реферат

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Bear-resistant food storage container — Bear resistant food storage containers, commonly called bear canisters or simply bear cans, are usually hard sided containers used by backpackers to protect their food from theft by bears. Bear canisters are seeing increased popularity in areas… …   Wikipedia

  • Food safety — is a scientific discipline describing handling, preparation, and storage of food in ways that prevent foodborne illness. This includes a number of routines that should be followed to avoid potentially severe health hazards. Food can transmit… …   Wikipedia

  • Food processing — is the set of methods and techniques used to transform raw ingredients into food or to transform food into other forms for consumption by humans or animals either in the home or by the food processing industry. Food processing typically takes… …   Wikipedia

  • food preservation — Any method by which food is protected against spoilage by oxidation, bacteria, molds, and microorganisms. Traditional methods include dehydration, smoking, salting, controlled fermentation (including pickling), and candying; certain spices have… …   Universalium

  • Food — For other uses, see Food (disambiguation). Part of a series on …   Wikipedia

  • Food engineering — Bread factory in Germany Food engineering is a multidisciplinary field of applied physical sciences which combines science, microbiology, and engineering education for food and related industries. Food engineering includes, but is not limited to …   Wikipedia

  • Storage — The term Storage may refer to:* Warehouse, a commercial building for storage of goods * Self storage, public storage facility * Food storage, containers such as Tupperware and Rubbermaid brands * Storage tank * Dry cask storage, storing high… …   Wikipedia

  • storage pots — (ARTHROPODA: Insecta) In Hymenoptera, containers constructed of cerumen for food storage by social bees; a honey pot …   Dictionary of invertebrate zoology

  • Food coloring — spreading on a thin water film in the International Space Station. Food coloring is a substance, liquid or powder, that is added to food and/or drink to change its color. Food coloring is used both in commercial food production and in domestic… …   Wikipedia

  • Food microbiology — is the study of the microorganisms which inhabit, create or contaminate food. Of major importance is the study of microorganisms causing food spoilage.cite book | author = Fratamico PM and Bayles DO (editor). | title = Foodborne Pathogens:… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”