Storing Pasta Long Term


Elbow Macaroni -packed in a # 10 can with an oxygen absorber.

Elbow Macaroni -packed in a # 10 can with an oxygen absorber.

Does pasta have to be vacuumed sealed for long term storage?


In short - yes. That said, pasta comes from the store already dehydrated. It has a shelf life of about two years in its original packaging.

For longer term storage, it's best if it is packed in cans, buckets, or bottles with oxygen absorbers, and tightly sealed.

You can purchase pasta in cans already sealed with an oxygen absorber inside.

Comments for Storing Pasta Long Term

Click here to add your own comments

by: Anonymous

If I vacuum pack pasta do I need to use an oxygen absorber anyway?


See: Vacuum Sealers for answers to your questions.

Click here to add your own comments

Return to Long Term Food Storage.

Bulk Pasta Storage

by Dale Livermore
(Williamsport , PA)

How do I keep my bulk pasta stores from contamination using commercial plastic bags and five gallon buckets?

Comments for Bulk Pasta Storage

Click here to add your own comments

Bulk Pasta Storage

The very best way to store pasta is to buy it already sealed in #10 cans. You can purchase either dehydrated or freeze-dried. It has a shelf life of 10-20 years.

If you choose to prepare yourself, as you said, in 5-gallon buckets, use Mylar bucket liners and several oxygen absorbers. Here are a couple of videos that show you exactly how to do it.

Click here to add your own comments

Return to Long Term Food Storage.

How to Store Beans & Pasta Long Term

by Marsha

Hello, I was told by a friend to freeze my pasta and red beans to get rid of any unwanted pests that might be brewing in the bags so I did.

Now I want to put them in jars for storage but they will be damp from being in the freezer. Here is my question.

Can I dry these like on the dining room table maybe with a fan before putting them in the jars or do I have to have something like Mylar bags and oxygen absorbers?


Hi Marsha,

I have heard of putting flour in the freezer to kill the weevil eggs, but have never heard of doing that with pasta and beans.

It's true that they need to be thoroughly dry before storing or mold will be your next problem.

If you are planning to store the beans long term, then, yes, definitely put them in Mylar bags, with oxygen absorbers, in plastic buckets.

But here's how to store beans (or grains) and keep the bugs out for next time, or incorporate it this time, just to be sure.

1. Store in clean & dry plastic or glass and they must have an airtight seal.

2. Pour about half of your supply of one type of grain or bean into an empty container. Drop a dried chili pepper in the middle. Cover it up with the remainder of the grains or beans. Replace the airtight lid.

3. If you use your beans and grains, be careful not to scoop out the chili pepper. For long term storage, just leave it in. The heat and scent are what keep the pests away, but the pepper does not affect the flavor of dried beans and grains.

As for the pasta, it can be stored for up to 2 years in the container it comes in from the store at room temperature in your cupboard or pantry. If you live in an area where humidity is high, it might be worthwhile to store it in the freezer permanently and just take out what you need for cooking.

Thank you for your questions.


Comments for How to Store Beans & Pasta Long Term

Click here to add your own comments

Are bugs not a problem in pasta?
by: Sharon

You don't mention needing oxygen absorbers for pasta. Do bugs not tend to bother pastas?


Sharon, yes, bugs can be a problem for pasta depending on how it is packed. Any food product that is intended for long term storage should be packed in metal or plastic containers with a mylar lining, and sealed. That will keep the bugs out. Packed this way, pasta should have a shelf life of 8-12 years.

In my previous answer about pasta, the store packaging will keep the bugs out if it is kept sealed, but will only have a shelf-life of about 2 years (unopened). If it's kept in the store packaging, I would use it regularly (short term storage).

The purpose of oxygen absorbers, however, is to keep food from deteriorating and losing taste and nutrition. Oxygen causes food (and everything else in the world) to deteriorate.

Once my stored rice, pasta, and beans have been opened, how long will they last?
by: Dee

Just found your web-site a couple of days ago and you have a lot of great information. My husband and I started about 8 months ago working on our LONG term food storage. We did this two different ways.

#1 Since it's just the two of us, I wanted to make sure I stored the foods we would eat and the amount we would eat. So, what I did was I took a food grade bucket lined with a mylar bag and put an 02 absorber in it along with bay leaves (heard this would keep bugs out). Inside of this bucket I put different kinds of pasta, white rice, instant mashed potatoes, tea bags, sugar, beans, gravy mix, instant oat meal, etc (all of which where individually vacuumed sealed with an 02 absorber in it's original package unless it came in a box). Then I sealed the buckets. I have enough different types of food in one bucket that when opened should last us for about two weeks.

#2 Then I did other buckets with just flour, sugar, powered milk, them. Since I didn't want to open a bucket and have a whole lot left over, I individually packed them the same way I did in step #1 (maybe over kill, but wanted to be safe than sorry).

We also have canned foods, different food from Emergency Essentials, Wise Food (an assortment).

My question is..once we open the food that has been stored, how long do I have to use them before they start going bad.


Every package that is vacuum packed will have the same shelf life as, say, a #10 can from a company and has not been opened. It does depend on the type of food as each has a different shelf life.

You have packaged in the same bucket food items that have a different shelf life. For instance, powdered milk and flour have a shelf life of about 10+ years, while white sugar will last indefinitely. That doesn't mean you can't eat them but it does mean that they will have lost some of their nutritional value.

The long term shelf life chart on this page: lists flour and powdered milk with a shelf life of 10-20 years. That's quite a span of years and is dependent on the storage conditions of light, temperature and moisture, of course. But those foods will have more nutritional value if opened at 10 years than they will have at 20.

So the bottom line is, you did good. Really! I personally think that's an excellent way to package food. I would think about rotating foods however, maybe every 5-10 years - just to make sure you get the optimum nutritional value out of those that have a shorter shelf life.

Storing beans, pasta & rice
by: Sue

We have beans, pasta & white rice stored at our northern cabin. All items are in sealed Mylar bags in plastic buckets. The cabin is not heated a majority of the time and we do experience below freezing temperatures most of the winter. Will the freezing weather affect our items?


Sue, I can't tell you for sure as I've not had that experience. But since these products are already dry, I'm guessing freezing won't hurt them. The only thing you need to worry about is moisture. How humid is it? If it's humid and these dry products freeze and thaw, freeze and thaw, the moisture in humid conditions will cause mold to grow.

Metal Barrels
by: firstlady1011

Can I store in 55 gal drums. We have mice that eat through everything, even my trailer walls. lol Can I put in the food grade ones first then the metal ones. Will it still be ok and not mold?


I would first put the food in Mylar bags with 02 absorbers, then put those in the metal drums. (Be sure and label them so you know what's in each bag later.) Metal drums are a great way to keep mice out of your food.

Brown Rice Pasta
by: Chris

How long can brown rice pasta be stored? Does it have the same moisture content as brown rice? It seems dry enough, so can it be stored in mylar bags with oxygen absorbers, or will it spoil and possibly be contaminated with botulism toxins?


I'm not sure as I've never heard of brown rice pasta, but if it has the same oil content as brown rice, the problem could be rancidity rather than botulism.

I have read that brown rice can be stored for only 6 months. I have also read from others who store it that they have stored it for years with proper storage (02 absorbers or vacuum sealing, cool, dry storage).

So, bottom line, it just depends on the moisture and oil content of the food.

Storing Items That Already Have a Long Shelf Life
by: Marty

My friend and I are storing food for any kind of emergency. We are only buying foods that already have a long shelf life such as canned foods, dried fruits, nuts, and pasta meals. Most of the products are in vacuum sealed bags or cans and we have placed everything in plastic storage bins in a finished basement with a dehumidifier.

My question is, will products like shells and cheese keep well in zip lock bags and placed in bins and does the dehydrated fruit need any special storage preparations?


Pasta meals: It depends on the fat content of these meals as to their shelf life. Generally store-bought meals include a fair amount of oils or fats. Storing the over time only in zip lock bags - they will eventually become rancid. It would be much better to store the dehydrated plain pasta (can be store-bought), then purchase freeze dried cheese or cheese sauces for long term storage.

Dehydrated fruit: It has been my experience with store-bought dehydrated fruit that it is a bit moist. They will eventually become moldy. Dehydrated fruit or vegetables must be very crisp (very low moisture). Otherwise, they should be kept in the freezer to prevent mold.

Click here to add your own comments

Return to Long Term Food Storage.

Top of Page ^