How long do non perishables last


Non-perishable foods are food items that do not spoil easily or quickly and can last for months or years, depending on the type of food. Fruits, vegetables, and other perishables can last for one to two weeks, while canned food, frozen food, and other non-perishables can last for months or even years.

This article will take a look at the specifics of how long non-perishables last:

Definition of non-perishables

Non-perishable items are foods that have a much longer shelf-life than fresh produce, meat, and dairy products. Generally, non-perishables will last for a long time without spoiling or going bad. Generally, this means that these items typically don’t need to be refrigerated and can be stored at room temperature or in a cool, dry place.

Common examples of non-perishable food items include:

  • Canned goods like beans, corn, and tuna.
  • Boxed food such as cereal and macaroni & cheese.
  • Jarred condiments like peanut butter or jelly.
  • Dried beans and legumes.
  • Pasta—including dried pasta noodles and other grains like rice or quinoa.
  • Nuts.
  • Snacks like crackers and cookies.
  • Fruit snacks.
  • Cereals/breakfast bars.
  • Dry mixes/sauce mixes.
  • Canned soups/stew lines.
  • Canned vegetables/fruits/juices/juice blends.
  • Peanut butter & jelly sandwiches.


Proper storage is key to making sure that non-perishable items last for as long as possible. Proper storage techniques can slow down the aging process, such as preventing food from going stale or materials from breaking down. Proper storage can also help to protect food and other items from being contaminated or ruined.

In this article, we will explore the best ways to store different types of non-perishable items:


The temperature at which an item is stored plays a major role in its shelf life. The higher the temperature, the shorter the window of time a product can be stored safely.

Non-perishables are best kept in a temperature-controlled environment away from heat sources, such as on shelves or cupboards away from appliances. This helps to maximize their integrity and reduce any risk of spoilage.

Similarly, items should be stored at below freezing temperatures for optimal storage. If you need to store food in a cooler or freezer for a prolonged period of time, be sure to label and date the items so that you know how long they have been stored before consumption.


Humidity can be a major factor for non-perishable items. It is possible for mold and bacteria to grow on certain items, such as food, if the relative humidity of your storage space is too high. Therefore, it is important to store these items in an area with a relative humidity level between 30-50%. This level of humidity will create an environment that prevents bacteria and molds from growing on the stored items.

Additionally, it is advisable to store non-perishables in tightly sealed containers or bags to further protect information from moisture and dust. Additionally, keep temperature levels moderate as extreme temperatures can shorten shelf lives of food and some other items.


Light items usually have a longer shelf life than other food items. That’s because they don’t contain perishable ingredients or moisture, so they’re unlikely to spoil or go bad. Some common light items include white flour, cornmeal, crackers, and cereal – all of which can last up to a year if stored in air-tight containers.

It’s important to note that light foods are not necessarily calorie-free. Even if the label may say “light,” that only means that it contains fewer calories than other alternatives – not necessarily zero calories. Additionally, some light products contain more sugar than their counterparts and can be just as unhealthy if consumed in large quantities.

To get the most out of your light food purchases, make sure that you store it properly. Left in an unsuitable environment (such as direct sunlight or near high heat sources), your store-bought light item can quickly become unusable and potentially harmful for consumption due to mold growth or ingredient breakdown. This is why it’s recommended to keep these materials sealed and away from hot spots inside your kitchen pantry or cupboard.

Shelf Life

The shelf life of a non-perishable item depends on various factors, including the type of food, storage method, and temperature. Some items may last anywhere from 6 months to a few years. It’s important to know the proper storage methods, so that your non-perishables can remain safe and last as long as possible.

In this article, we’ll look at the shelf life of different types of non-perishables, as well as how to store them for optimal freshness:

Canned goods

Canned goods, which are preserved through the process of canning, have an extended shelf life compared to fresh produce and other perishable items. When stored properly in a cool, dark place and not exposed to heat or moisture, canned foods can last for months – or even years.

The shelf life of canned goods is affected by several factors, including the type of food, the processing method and time elapsed since canning. Generally speaking, high-acid canned foods such as tomatoes have a shorter shelf life, lasting only 12–18 months from the date of purchase. Low-acid foods like meat, fish and vegetables (including beans) last about 2–5 years before their quality begins to decline.

It’s still important to check your cans for signs of spoilage before eating them – even if they are within their shelf life. Cans should not be dented or bulging as this could indicate that they have been exposed to too much heat or moisture during storage. Spoiled canned foods may show signs such as rusty lids and off odors – in these cases it’s best not to eat them!

Dry goods

When it comes to the shelf life of dry goods such as grains, legumes, flours, or added ingredients like baking powder and extracts it is important to keep certain things in mind. Every item may last differently – some products have different optimal conditions and expire differently. Here’s a general guide:

  • Grains (whole and ground): Whole grains last up to 6 months unopened, or 1 year opened stored in airtight containers in dry, cool locations. Ground grains should be used within 6 months of opening and will stay fresher if kept in the refrigerator or freezer.
  • Legumes: Uncooked beans will last up to one year stored in an airtight container placed in a cool area. Cooked beans can last 4-7 days if refrigerated properly.
  • Flours: White flour can last up to 8 months unopened but should be used within 2-4 weeks once opened (keep refrigerated for the longest life). Whole wheat flour lasts about 6 months once opened (keep refrigerated for longest life), while other whole grain flours such as barley, quinoa, buckwheat, spelt and amaranth usually have shorter shelf lives of 3-6 months.
  • Baking powder/soda: Baking powder/soda’s optimal storage time is 2 years, but they can lose their potency after that point so be sure to check your containers every few weeks before using them.
  • Extracts: If stored away from heat and light both natural and imitation extracts such as vanilla extract will last approximately 4 years sealed in its original container. Once opened use within 6-12 months for best flavor results (also keep away from heat).


When it comes to successful grocery shopping and budgeting, having an understanding of shelf life is invaluable. Knowing which items will last a long time can help you plan ahead and stock up when it’s most cost effective. Grains, such as wheat and oats, are perfect long-lasting items to keep on hand and can give your meal planning resilience when stored correctly.

Grains have a more extended storage life than other common non-perishable staples such as canned goods since they do not contain fats or oils that can spoil over time. A variety of grains, including wheat berries, bulgar wheat and couscous, will keep for up to one year when stored in airtight containers in a cool, dry place away from sunlight. Oats have an even longer shelf life at up to 18 months if stored properly. If you find yourself with excess grains that are approaching their shelf life limits, make sure to freeze any that won’t be used in time for the best results. These foods are so versatile and nutritious that you never want them going to waste!


Legumes such as dry beans, lentils, and split peas are quite versatile foods and are an excellent source of protein. They are available in a variety of forms, ranging from fresh-shelled or frozen to dry or canned. Depending on storage conditions, these legumes can have a shelf life anywhere from 6 months to 2 years.

Fresh-shelled and frozen legumes have the shortest shelf life and should be used within 1–3 months for optimal flavor and texture. Dried legumes can last for up to one year if correctly stored in an airtight container away from heat, light, and moisture. Canned legumes remain safe to consume for up to 2 years when stored under the same conditions as their dried counterparts.

It is important to inspect all canned or dried beans before cooking with them in order to check for signs of spoilage like mold growths or discoloration. If you discover any undesirable changes in aroma or appearance, it is best to discard the product immediately.

Tips for Maximizing Shelf Life

Non-perishable foods are a great addition to any pantry, but proper storage and nutrition are key to preserving their longevity. By following a few simple steps, you can maximize the shelf life of non-perishable items, helping you to save time and money.

In this article, we’ll explore the simple tips to maximize the shelf life of non-perishable items:

Proper storage

Coffees have different shelf life depending on the way they are stored. In order to ensure the longevity of your favorite coffee and ensure maximum flavor during brewing, it’s important to adhere to some basic storage guidelines.

Following is a list of tips for maximizing shelf life for your favorite beans:

  • Store your beans in an airtight container in cool, dry, dark place with stable temperatures.
  • Keep the container away from direct sunlight, heat sources such as ovens and stoves, and moisture sources such as sinks or other water sources.
  • Avoid freezing or refrigeration as this alters the moisture content and affects flavor.
  • If possible, purchase small quantities at once so you can rotate through fresh beans more often.
  • Be sure to check expiration dates of packaged coffees before purchasing them and opt for fresher items if available.

Rotating stock

One of the most important strategies for maximizing shelf life is to regularly rotate stock. This way, your older goods are used before the newest ones, meaning that none of your products pass their sell by date. Therefore, it is important to purchase items you can use quickly and in smaller quantities; this ensures that the oldest items are being used up first. The “first in, first out” (FIFO) method is a good rule of thumb to reduce spoilage and waste.

Additionally, be sure to store items with similar expiration dates together; this way, it will be easier to pull them at once when they do expire or when they need to be rotated out. Finally, consider utilizing dates on packaging or adding code stamps such as production/expiry dates on any food item that needs to have its freshness preserved. Keeping an inventory of supplies and cross-referencing them against expiration and usage dates will help you keep track of what needs replenishing or replacing as well as prevent the over-purchase and wastage of perishable items.

Proper labeling

It’s important to handle food products correctly and take steps to avoid spoilage and ensure food safety while they’re in shipment or storage. Proper labeling is key in helping to extend a food’s shelf life.

Food labels should contain items such as product name, ingredients, manufacturing date, batch details and best before date accompanied with other instructions that help to maintain product quality until consumption. The best practice for labeling is always to keep it simple and include enough information so the item can be tracked and traced on all strings of the supply chain for audit purposes, should there be a need for recalls.

Furthermore, it is always important to use expiry codes of international standards with simple titles such as ‘USE BY’ or ‘SOLD BY’ so consumers find them easier to understand when choosing which food items are safe for consumption. Labels which clearly state nutritional value are also beneficial in helping encourage shoppers towards healthier options with longer shelf lives. Additionally, remember that unauthorized claims can cause legal issues; therefore only make sure your labels contain information which you have personally verified.


In conclusion, the shelf life of non-perishable goods can vary greatly depending on the type and quality of item. Generally speaking, most canned items will last at least a year or two when stored properly; boxed items may remain shelf-stable for many years if they are unopened and stored correctly; and items such as rice, flour, nuts and spices should last several years if they are maintained properly.

Additionally, it is important to note that food manufacturers often print “Best Before” dates on product packaging to ensure optimal taste and freshness; however, these dates do not necessarily represent safety concerns related to the expiration of food items, so it is important to exercise caution when consuming items that have passed their Best Before date.

All in all, by understanding expiration dates and taking proper precautions when storing non-perishables and products that lack an expiration date, consumers can help ensure safe consumption of food items at all times.