Message from Augason Farms – Please, Rotate Your Food Storage!

One of the most significant things a family can do to prepare for a potential challenging disaster is to have an abundant supply of food and water available to them. Food storage provides security and peace of mind that if faced with a disaster, your family won’t starve.

In order to effectively store food, you need to rotate it regularly. The last thing you want is to be in a disaster and find that your food has been spoiled and is no longer suitable for safe consumption. Everyone should learn how to properly rotate their foot storage in order to ensure that it stays fresh, and that your money doesn’t go to waste because it gets spoiled.

Knowing the expiration date of your food is the first key step. Simply mark the month and date that food will expire on the package. The month and year should always be marked, even if the food has a shelf life as long as 20 years.

Most shelf life time periods are for unopened packages. Once they’ve been opened, you generally have one year to use it before the food goes bad or expires. A useful tip is to use a different color pen to mark the food with the new expiration date once it’s been opened.

Your food supply should be ordered by expiration date once you have marked your food supply. Every six months to a year it is imperative to check all expiration dates and ensure that the food is still good to eat. This will help you know if you are running low or out of any food supplies and need to reorder to keep your emergency supply ready for a disaster.

It is also important that you keep your emergency food storage in an accessible and safe area. Store your food storage in an area that will enable you to perform food rotation on a regular basis. You will not want to store food in your attic if you live in a tornado or hurricane-prone area, just like you will not want to store your food in the basement if you live near flood areas.

Wherever your food storage may be, make sure it’s easily accessible during an emergency. Normally all food storage can all be stored together, but double check to make sure food packages don’t have any detailed storing guidelines. Food storage should be placed in a dry, dark area with no extreme temperatures. The storage container could spilt, pop, and lead to unanticipated spoiled food due to excessive icy, heat, or sun exposure.  

Rotating your food storage regularly will help you to properly manage your food storage to ensure that it will always be useful to you.

 About Augason Farms:

Augason Farms  is a Utah-based supplier of emergency food supply and survival gear. The company was founded in 1972, and has since become a leader in emergency preparedness for homes, offices, and more.

About M.D. Creekmore

M.D. Creekmore is the owner and editor of He is the author of four prepper related books and is regarded as one of the nations top survival and emergency preparedness experts. Read more about him here.


  1. While I understand the concept of rotating your food storage a lot of things I store are not and won’t be rotated. I store quite a bit of caned goods like stew,beans,pasta in sauce, veggies ect. I would eat these in an emergency situation but don’t eat them on a regular basis as I prefer my veggies ect fresh. I store rice and beans in 5 gl containers in Mylar bags and they should be good for 15-20 years so again while I eat rice and beans weekly I am not trying to do this out of 30 lb containers. I have lots of # 10 cans of freeze dried meat and such from Augason Farms and Mountain House as well as wheat stored from them also but am not going to rotate them either. IMHO emergency food is just that. There is a reason we buy food that has a 20 year shelf life and that reason is that it can stay on the shelf. I understand others will have different opinions on this subject but this is mine.

    • riverrider says:

      right there with you. most of mine is 2011/2012. i’ll be dead before it spoils. i use the canned stuff for short term emergency and keep it rotated out every 3 or 4 years, but i’m gradually replacing the cans with fd of the same variety.

      • hvaczach says:

        Realistically the canned goods are good for even twice as long as the 3-4 years that you are rotating thru some will argue that the cans start to do things to the food but compared to starving to death i will take my chances. And freeze dried is awesome light weight and long term but most the canned stuff requires no water or cooking you can open and eat which for the first 60 days of an”incident” has its aadvantages.

        • riverrider says:

          ten four, i just notice a slight “can” taste after a while and sometimes the contents look a little worse for the wear so try to eat it with in a couple years after the expo date. don’t worry, i don’t throw them out.

  2. iguana green says:

    There has been studies on expired canned foods by the military.
    They found that can food that was 25 years old was completely safe to eat. The can food still had texture and flavor.
    Canned food is the way to go when prepping. Including dry goods that need alternate preparation for long term storage.

    • Canyonman says:

      Couldn’t agree more. There’s a lot behind a stamped expiration date that has little or nothing to do with what’s actually inside the can.

      • hvaczach says:

        Its goes back to why radios. Tv and other goods dont last anymore planned obsolescence. I recently read an article that explained that other than eggs and dairy expire dates are largly manufacture . Numbers based on nothing but what they tjink peak freshness is. You can’t change your canning process to have things spoil because of liability so you stamp a date on so people get nervous throw it out and will buy new.

    • Folks,

      Over time canned goods start to lose nutrients, the expiration date listed on the cans in most cases is when the manufacturer “estimates” that the food will start to degrade in nutritional value, and not provide what is listed on the can. That does not mean that it isn’t safe to eat, just that you probably won’t be getting all of the nutrient value as listed on the can…

  3. One way to stretch out your expiration dates is to buy food for storage over a longer period of time. I learned that at my rural store, if items don’t turn over and I buy it too fast, the expiry dates will be the same. If I wait a month and buy some, the dates may be even a year further out. So I am trying to buy items over a longer period of time, rather than a bunch at once. We don’t really have sales (I buy a lot of staples) so buying a lot at once doesn’t help. And if I had to throw it out, sale prices wouldn’t save me. I can say for sure – never buy dented cans of fruit. Canned fruit is the one thing that I have had blow up after long storage. I try not to buy any dented cans at all, but sometimes they sneak through.

  4. Gary in Bama says:

    First thanks for the artical.My prepps are in 3 stages.In the kitchen pantry i keep 30 days of food active.Then we have 90 days worth of the same in the basement that is actively rotated to kitchen.The last stage is 12 months bucket storage that is in the coolest part of the basment.I hope my grandkids have to throw away these buckets after we are dead.I plan on opening 1 of eash type at the 10 year mark And yes i have Augason Farms buckets.Wal mart has free ship to store.

  5. Tactical G-Ma says:

    I appreciate reminding us all to know our stores are safe to eat. Some things should be rotated. I personally like to store what we eat and eat what we store. I do have a few prepackaged foods but those should be good for many years. Thanks again.

  6. I like to mark the tops of my cans with the exp date with a big black sharpie. The #10 cans I don’t worry about as much, but we buy and use our canned goods regularly so I try to make sure nothing gets stuck in the back of the cabinet

  7. I write the date (month/year) I received the item. I do this on the label as I find this easier to check than the top of the can. This is for our “long term” storage items. Our “pantry storage” items are the regular canned goods we get at the store. We have a couple of can rotators that we got from Amazon (through this link) and they work good for us. We rotate the items that are not in the can rotators when we get new ones.

    I do inspect our “long term” storage when we can, checking for bulging cans or other signs that the contents are bad. These are simply thrown out at a public access trash point. So far I have one had one can of Cornbread mix go bad in a #10 can, so that is good.

  8. Happy Camper says:

    In this last week I’ve opened two very well sealed buckets of grains, they have been sealed for about 6 months. One had bug webs through it and other had been eaten into by rats, through the bucket. No matter how hungry I get I couldn’t eat rat or bug poop.
    About 40 kg of grain wasted !! My fault for not pre treating and checking them.

    • Tactical G-Ma says:

      You say you could never eat rat or bug poop. Bet you could. People do it everyday all over the world. Just cause you don’t see it doesn’t mean it isn’t there. And if you had to choose between life and death, I bet you would choose life.

      • Canyonman says:

        LOL! Yeah, I heard something on the radio about the amount of mouse crap (parts per million) that are allowed in the production of candy. Seems strange they’d allow ANY parts in there, but hey, I don’t work for the government, so what do I know? 🙂

        • JP in MT says:

          FDA regulations allow hot dogs to be 5% “other”.

          • Chuck Findlay says:

            “other”, I’ll bet that is painted with a broad brush…

            Some times it’s better to not have all the information…

  9. grandma bear says:

    If the worst problem you have in life is that you have food insurance (the stores) that may have to be at some given time in the future thrown out, I would say “life is good!”. While we must be smart about our food storage, in the big scheme of life cover your bases and move on.

    Remember we are all in this together!

  10. TPSnodgrass says:

    We store only what we normally eat, and it is rotated normally through the course of one year or longer. We’ve not had to shell out major bucks for large quantities of freeze-dried or dehydrated foods, but we do have some on hand for emergencies as well as experiments in taste and preparation.
    It is easy to acquire and store effectively and within budget, what we normally eat and use.

  11. Folks,

    Most of the “survival foods” have an estimated shelf-life of 20+ years if unopened, no one is saying that you need to throw it out, you just need to use it before it goes bad – (and yes some of you won’t have to worry about this because of age).

    Anyways, you have to eat don’t you? So eat the food as needed, (canned goods from the store or dedicated packaged “survival foods”) and replace as you eat it’s that simple.

    It won’t cost you a dime more than it normally would to eat if you’re doing it right. All you’re doing is buying what you would normally eat three, six months or even a year in advance and eating as normal but replacing it as you go alone so you always have a fresh stockpile on hand.

  12. mom of three says:

    I rotate every six month’s, then that way I can see what we are eating, what we aren’t. Then that way I start cooking more or finding recipes that use my vegetables, or soups up.
    I also pack food up to take to our churches, food bank if it’s stuff we don’t like or again not eating.

Before commenting, please read my Comments Policy - thanks!