How Hot Is Too Hot for Food Storage?
The Survival Mom
by Lisa Bedford: What’s
in YOUR Faraday Cage? A Common Sense Guide To Reparing for an EMP
mid-May, my email box began filling up with questions about storing
food in hot weather. The current heat wave covering most of the
nation hasnt helped matters and food is particularly susceptible
to the effects of high temperatures.
I wanted to
share with you the answer I give to this question and some of the
tips we use in our own home.
First, as you
may know, I live in Phoenix and know all about summer heat! We have
to be careful of indoor temps beginning around early to mid-May
all the way through October! (Kids dont exactly wear jackets
over their Halloween costumes around here!)
smart thing to be worried about the effects of heat on the food
youre storing, but also guard against light, oxygen, pests,
and humidity. In our home we have a spare bedroom that has become
storage pantry. We havent come up with a perfect solution
for dealing with the heat, but heres what weve done.
First, my husband
covered the window with an opaque film to help keep out the heat.
A big percentage of heat is transmitted indoors via windows, plus
light damages food over time. Keep your windows covered, even in
the winter and if you can do something to insulate them, that would
be even better. Home improvement stores sell large sheets of styrofoam,
which can be cut to measure any window. This styrofoam is used to
insulate stucco homes, and while not attractive at all, it can be
effective in keeping heat out of individual rooms.
summer, I generally keep the air conditioning set to 80 degrees
during the day. Our home is very well insulated, and this temp works
for us. Your situation may be different and you might need to lower
the A/C in order to maintain an ambient temperature of less than
80 degrees. Test the temperature of your main food storage area
occasionally. Install a ceiling fan to circulate the cooler air
entering the room or consider buying a small A/C unit to keep in
the room and use only on the hottest days. We havent done
that but I would if our house wasnt so well insulated.
Under no circumstances
should you store food outside in the heat and keep in mind that
a consistent temperature is better for your food than fluctuating
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© 2012 The
Best of Lisa Bedford