Today I Encountered a New Food Storage Problem

food storage problem

Here you can see one of the partly eaten boxes. The damage was probably done by termites.

It seems like I am always learning new things about prepping.  About the time, I think I have seen everything something new occurs.  This morning I was at the home of a friend who is in the process of moving.  He has been a prepper for at least 40 years.  One of the things that he needed to do was to make a decision  about whether to move his food storage or just replace it. Well when he checked on some of it, he found a food storage problem that I have never encountered.

He had a very large number of cases of freeze dried and dehydrated food stored under a building.  The area was dry, cool and the food was on pallets and off the ground.  The area did have a dirt floor.  The food had been stored in there for about 10 years.  For the last few days, he has been removing cases and found the food storage problem.

Insects had attacked the boxes and many of the boxes were partly to completely eaten.  Now this wouldn’t have been too bad, except that they had also eaten many of the labels from the cans.  So now he is sitting there looking at a substantial number of cans with little idea of what is in them?

Fortunately, most of it is ready to be rotated and he is not going to take it with him.  Instead, he will replace it.  Just so you know none of it will go to waste.  Some will go to other people who need help with their storage and some will go to feed the pigs.  Plus I will get some more old food to test and post about.

This is another food storage problem that gives you a good reason to check on your long term storage periodically.

Howard

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13 Responses to Today I Encountered a New Food Storage Problem

  1. CommonSense says:

    Had not considered this, perhaps each can should be labeled with permanent marker before storage? Just in case of insects or flooding.

    Thanks for the info.

  2. F. Johnson says:

    I have run across this early on and since I write in Perm. maker what is in each can prior to storage. I also do not store anything in cardboard. I use mostly high grade plastic and an occasionally metal. But metal has the tendency to rust after a while. I periodically throw moth balls around, mostly to keep the little buggers away and it helps with rodents as well.

  3. Conundrum99 says:

    I have always marked the top of my cans in permanent marker. Not for the reason state so that I could see what in a can from the top without unpacking the box.

  4. Illini Warrior says:

    the EXCEL software based food storage / planning spreadsheets usually call for individual identifications … instead of giving an entire case of food an ident # … give each can/container it’s own # ….

    for OPSEC I currently # ident my 5 gallon bucket food storage …. keep the old bucket label and just mark with a small #

  5. nick says:

    This could have easily been taken care of if they had used food grad 5 gallon buckets and gamma lids. Cardboard is susceptible to the elements and its insides are as well. get a food grade water tight air tight container.

  6. PrepNow says:

    Good lesson in checking your supplies every now and again. As someone food grade buckets are always a good idea.

  7. Vicki S says:

    I love that Thrive Life stamps all there cans with a number and name of what is inside at the bottom of the can.

  8. Bruce says:

    I put all of my food in plastic gamma seal without no problems I keep checking then for holes monthly

  9. Dan says:

    A moisture barrier in the crawl space would have helped prevent this. Just purchase a couple of rolls of plastic sheeting and roll it out making sure you overlap each length. Moisture barriers “help” keep termites out but will not keep termites from creating tunnels up the sides of the foundation and supports to get to your flooring. Moisture barriers will keep them from tunneling directly from the dirt to what ever you have placed on top of it. It will also reduce moisture damage to floor joists and subflooring. If your crawl space floods out in a good rain then you have other problems to deal with. If you can’t keep the mice out of your crawlspace then only metal will prevent them from doing damage to anything stored in there. Plastic, carboard and paper they will chew up and get into.

  10. Howard says:

    I think that the idea of using plastic buckets is a good one, but maybe to further explain this situation I should mention that we are talking about close to a hundred cases of #10 cans.
    Howard

  11. R Reames says:

    Whenever we get in a shipment of freeze dried cans, I take a permanent marker and write on the plastic lid the name of the item and the date purchased. I also write the contents on the outside of the box it’s stored in. I started this so that when I opened a box and would be searching for a particular can, I wouldn’t have to pull out all the cans in order to locate what I was searching for. Happy accident that this method was keep a more “permanent” label for cans as long as the lids are not lost.

  12. ke4sky says:

    NEVER stack more than three buckets high on a Gamma lid!

    The weight of more than two buckets WILL cause a gamma lid to fail!!

    Bears and raccoons can also open them. I recommend storage in a well secured enclosure sufficient to keep industrious, aggressive digging four- or two-footed buggers out!

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