Affordable Family Storage on What Not to Store: Perishable Food

September 11, 2018

Rotting FoodAffordable Family Storage Explains Why Storing Food in a Storage Unit is a Really Bad Idea

There are certain things you should never keep in a storage unit, whether long-term or short-term. One of those things is perishable food. Even with the climate controlled storage units offered by Affordable Family Storage, keeping food that can quickly go bad in a storage facility is generally a terrible idea.


In this entry of the Affordable Family Storage blog, we’ll go into (some fairly unpleasant) detail about the downsides of keeping food in a storage unit. For more about what we can offer in our Omaha, NE facilities, check out our storage rental services.

What Turns Food Bad?

Why does food go bad in the first place? Depending on the kind of food you’re talking about, there are different reasons. Bacteria eating away at exposed food, yeast or mold growing unchecked, enzymes in the food breaking down, environmental factors like heat and even the oxygen in the air — or a combination of all these factors.


Eventually, almost all food that isn’t freeze-dried, dehydrated, or canned will spoil or rot. Keeping things in the refrigerator doesn’t stop this from happening, just prolongs the amount of time it takes for the process to kick in.

Sell-By vs. Use-By

Another important factor in the lifespan of your food is the difference between the “sell by” and “use by” dates. This is something people often mix up, and can be a real hassle for someone looking into long-term storage for edible supplies. “Sell by” is meant for the store, rather than the consumer, as a guideline on when they should dispose of food that isn’t sold. As a consumer, “use by” is the one you should be looking at. You definitely don’t want to actually store anything that’s past its “use by” date. Especially not in a storage unit.

Food Storage and Affordable Family Storage

What’s this got to do with your storage unit? Well, that point about refrigeration is important here. Even keeping perishable food in optimal, recommended conditions isn’t going to stop it from going bad. Keeping it in a storage unit is far more likely to speed up this process, especially if it’s not climate controlled.


Not only will the food go bad, but spoiled food in a storage facility is potentially dangerous. Unattended or rotting food is a common cause of pest infestations, which is the last thing you want in storage. Even a secure and modern storage facility can be susceptible to pests with improperly stored food on-site.

What About Canned Food?

While it’s technically not as dangerous or unhygienic to keep canned food, or other food specifically manufactured for long-term storage, in a storage unit, we still recommend you don’t. Ultimately, the reason most people keep food of any kind in storage is in case of emergencies. You’re better off keeping your reserves of perishable and emergency food supplies in your home.

Contact Affordable Family Storage Today

Although we strongly discourage you from storing food, Affordable Family Storage is more than happy to keep whatever else you need stored safely. Our storage facilities in Omaha and across the Midwest offer a range of features including climate control, security, easy access, truck rental, online payment options, and much more. Talk to our 24-hour storage facility team at Affordable Family Storage today.


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