Why Not to Keep Food in a Storage Unit
  • January 05, 2023
  • By cliftonrt46selfstorage

Can you store food in your storage unit? Your Clifton Rt. 46 Self Storage unit is meant to make your life easier.  You can use it to safely keep or reserve items to use during emergencies, or fulfill a current or future need. However, with uncertainties such as a global health pandemic or food shortages, many people are concerned about stocking foods in their storage units, without knowing the risks involved.

Clifton Rt. 46 Self Storage is the go-to self-storage provider serving Clifton, NJ, and the surrounding area. You will always find a storage unit that meets your requirements, whether you need seasonal storage, business storage, or storage during home remodeling, decluttering, selling, or moving temporarily. Here, we discuss the basics of keeping food in a storage unit.

Reasons You Shouldn’t Keep Food in a Storage Unit

Here is why storage unit owners don’t advise storing food in a storage unit:

Possible Food Poisoning

Bacteria from incorrectly stored foods can cause food poisoning. Unfortunately, food contaminated with bacteria such as staphylococcus may appear, taste, and smell as usual. Unsafe food storage practices–such as keeping foods in storage units–can cause food poisoning bacteria to multiply to dangerous levels.

Food poisoning bacteria thrive and multiply quickest in the temperature danger zones between 5 °C and 60 °C. Storage facilities offering temperature-controlled storage units usually guarantee that the temperature inside these units is maintained within a strict range, usually 12 °C-30 °C. As such, bacteria can still thrive in storage units, making stored food items a health hazard.

Pest Infestations

Bringing foods into storage units opens up a unit to all sorts of unwanted pests. Ants, mice, and other types of unwanted bugs and critters will be drawn to the food inside your storage unit.

Gradually, unwanted pests will infest your storage unit. This infestation can also spread to adjacent units, causing an unpleasant and unsafe situation. Pests can cause severe damage to your stored belongings.

Besides chewing through your stored foods and belongings, pests like mice can leave their bacteria-filled droppings all over your items. As such, even when you don’t find any major signs of a pest infestation, you still get exposed to diseases.

Possible Food Expiration

Foods with shorter shelf lives can expire quickly if not refrigerated. Storing foods in storage units does the complete opposite of refrigeration and exposes your food to high temperatures. High temperatures speed up food expiration, besides creating a proper breeding and living environment for bacteria.

Mold and Mildew Growth

Foods that easily attract or retain moisture are susceptible to mold and mildew growth. Mold and mildew can grow on your belongings and infect your foods, causing a health hazard.


The longer you store perishable foods in your storage unit, the more they spoil. Spoiled foods develop a strong odor, which is made worse by the lack of proper ventilation. Odors from spoiled foods can cling to clothing, furniture, and other fabrics. These smells can render these items unusable because they are quite hard to remove.

Is There an Exception to Storing Food in a Storage Unit?

Storing foods in storage containers is generally unacceptable. However, there are a few exceptions to the rule.

Canned Foods Can Survive Storage

Canned foods are a staple for most households since they can last longer. If stored in extremely high temperatures, foods can spoil prematurely. Fortunately, most storage units’ temperatures can allow canned foods. Ensure the canned foods are tightly and securely sealed before storage. In most instances, the storage unit owner is responsible for such storage conditions.

Grains and Spices Can Be Allowed Under Special Circumstances

Airtight storage containers are the only acceptable form for grain storage. Temperature is also a key consideration when storing grains, and temperature-controlled storage units can help store your grains, albeit for a limited time.

In addition, dried spices stored in airtight containers can last for an extended period in your storage unit. However, temperature also comes into play, meaning you should avoid storing in high-temperature storage units.

Find Reliable Storage at Clifton Rt. 46 Self Storage

Storage units provide the convenience of extra space to store your household or office items. You can store almost anything in a storage unit, from electronics to artwork, books, furniture, boxes, and vehicles.

However, most storage unit companies have restrictions against food storage. While the idea might be appealing, storing foods in storage units exposes you to health hazards, pest infestations, odors, etc.

Are you looking for a storage unit facility? Clifton Rt. 46 Self Storage is a reliable, family-owned storage company serving Clifton, NJ, and the surrounding area.  Our storage units are designed with state-of-the-art features, such as keypad code entry, video surveillance, and differently-sized storage units. Contact us to book your self-storage unit today.

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