Any prepper who had been prepping for a while will have some sort of food stockpile stored up; it can be a year, a month or even a week. We all take pains to source foods that will last a long time, but the fact is even long shelf life is not a guarantee that the food will not spoil.
The thing is, food spoilage can be very difficult to detect sometimes. Imagine having SHTF just to find out that your entire stash of cans for the year had just gone bad without you knowing.
Never be in that position; find out how you can tell if your food stockpile is turning bad today before they really do.
Is Your Food Stockpile Turning Bad?
Like it or not, all foods even long shelf life ones, can turn bad if the right conditions are present. Learn 3 tips to tell if your food is tuning bad and never be surprised with spoilt food on the day that SHTF.
We will go over some basic food spoilage signs, telltale evidence, and ways to avoid your food spoiling in the future. With food shortages, food recalls, avoiding harmful chemicals and practices used, and the hard work it goes into growing your own food- these signs and methods can be helpful in preventing any waste. Ingesting spoiled foods can be fatal. A simple bout of diarrhea can lead to dehydration and organ failure within days. Hopefully, telling when your food is spoiled can also help you and your family avoid any preventable food borne illness, so you don’t have to wait for SHTF to find this knowledge useful.
#1. Inspect Cans
Cans that show bulging or swollen sides should not be used. The internal seal could’ve been compromised and gases could be causing that expansion. Corroded metals can indicate internal problems.
If you open the can and the food appears cloudy or murky in any way, it should be thrown out. Any unpleasant odor or gas-like off-putting smells indicate spoilage.
It is especially important to dispose of any canned food you think may be compromised, do not give it to pets or use it for compost as it could contain the fatal bacteria that cause botulism. Use extreme caution with canned and jarred foods.
#2. Changes in appearance
Produce will show signs of spoiling before any other foods, with root vegetables coming in a close second.
- Carrots will become soft and either go pale or get darker and rustier colored.
- Grapes will get darker and deflate, and get soft mushy spots around the stem.
- Tomatoes will get wrinkled and start to seep fluids, the skin will sag and bunch.
- Bananas will get darker and pull from the stems.
- Stone fruits will get wrinkled and soften, and the texture will go soft.
- Cucumbers and greens will get bitter and dark.
- Leafy vegetables will darker around the edges and get slimy.
- Avocado’s stem button will seem dark and start to mold first.
- Cauliflower will show rust colored slime at the floret’s root base.
- Any soft white fuzz is an indication the produce should be thrown out.
#3. Discoloration in Meat
When you unwrap your meat, the first thing you should do is smell it. Any foul or unpleasant odor indicates it has spoiled. If you want to be sure, let it defrost. Any tackiness or stickiness means bacterial growth has occurred, so it should be discarded.
When meat spoils it can get darker, or it can pale. It used to be they told you to check the meat bladder in the package, if it’s full of dark blood it doesn’t mean the meat is bad, but it’s not super fresh and you have less time to let it sit. The same can be said for visual appearance, the blood in the muscle will darken as it ages so that could be a sign of aged meat, or meat on the verge of going bad.
#Bonus Tip – Check For Flour mites
If you have some sort of flour or dry foodstuff stockpile and you intent to make bread when SHTF, remember to check for these nasty critters. They might just give you a horrible surprise.
Flour mites are pretty nasty. The worst part is you usually can’t tell they are present unless it’s an advanced colony. They come in packaged food and feed on flour, germ, and mold and can spread their presence to other dry goods. You do not want your pantry and stockpile ruined when the time comes to use it! Black dots are weevil larvae which can be killed in the same methods.
Ways to keep your food safe
To determine if you have an infestation, look at your dry foodstuffs. Any small beige “sand” around the edges of the packages or in the white flour, that’s mites. To prevent them is easy. Use air tight containers. If you do have them, or just want to make sure, they die by being cold! Freeze any food stuffs overnight and that should kill them. Wipe down your shelves with vinegar and water. They hate bay leaves, so using them as a shelf decoration would help avoid any future infestations. Some people say diatomaceous earth helps kill any shelled bugs like mites and weevils, but my pets have trouble and sneeze with it around so I do not use it.
Do You Know What To Do When Shit Hits The Fan?
Subscribe to find out what other Preppers, Survivalist and Homesteaders are doing now!