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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can I view the status of my order?

To view the status of your order, simply log into your account. To track a package you need the Order Confirmation Number. This number is included on the Order Confirmation Email you received after you placed an order.

What are your shipping costs?

Shipping cost are determined by our real time connection with UPS or by pre-defined shipping rates determined by FoodStorageDepot.com. During the checkout process you will be asked to select your shipping preference and destination and the cost will be added to your order total.

Will I receive an order confirmation via e-mail?

Yes, you will receive a confirmation of your order within 24 hours or less, via email.

What's your return policy?

Please visit our Shipping and Returns Policy found on www.foodstoragedepot.com.

Can I order by telephone?

Yes, to order by phone, please call 888-505-5002 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. MST, Monday through Friday (except for holidays). Please have the descriptions of the items you wish to purchase, along with shipping and credit card information ready when you call.

What forms of payment do you accept?

We accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover Card, and PayPal. Checks are only accepted thru PayPal.

When will my order be shipped from FoodStorageDepot.com?

Every effort is made to ship your order the same day it is placed, however, it may take up to four to six weeks to ship your package if orders or supplies are back-logged.  Regardless of the shipping method you pick, once the product is shipped, the mail carrier controls how long it will take to get to you.  We ship Monday - Friday, excluding holidays.

Which shipping options do you offer?

FoodStorageDepot.com uses UPS and FedEx as its primary shippers.  Exceptionally large orders (i.e., freight orders) may be shipped through another carrier. We offer both standard ground and various expedited shipping methods. The cost of each is determined at checkout using our real-time connection with UPS, FedEx, or Shipping Charges set by FoodStorageDepot.com. 

How are premium shipping charges calculated?

All premium shipping charges are calculated in real time using our direct connection with UPS or FedEx.

Do I have to pay sales tax?

Since FoodStorageDepot.com is based solely in the state of Utah, if your order is shipped to Utah, you will be charged sales tax. Shipments on orders to all other states (excluding Utah) are not charged sales tax on FoodStorageDepot.com. While we do not charge sales tax on your order you may be responsible for sales tax or use tax for the state or county in which you reside. Typically tax isn't required, but if you have doubts, contact your state tax commission for details. It is not possible for FoodStorageDepot.com to know every particular situation and will not be held responsible for any tax that is due for your purchase.

Can orders be shipped to a P.O. Box?

Typically not, we mainly use UPS, therefore we require a physical address.  There are few exceptions to this rule.

Is my credit card information secure on your site?

Absolutely! We use the very latest in SSL (Secure Socket Layer) encryption technology to safeguard your private information. Check for the "lock" symbol on your browser window during critical steps in the checkout process to ensure that your information is safe.

What is a #10 Can?

A #10-standard can generally holds up to 13 cups of food or liquids (which is just shy of a gallon).  The #10 can is the standard in most long-term food storage and is the largest container size offered by manufactures of freeze-dried products. Other standard can sizes include the #2 1/2 can which holds up to 3.5 cups and the #303 which holds up to 2 cups.

Are there different types of #10 cans?

Yes, not all #10 cans are built the same.  Some cans are coated, for example, and others are not.  Metal cans that are shiny both inside and outside are usually not coated to protect food from metal leaking into the food, and often cause foods to taste like metal over time.  Coated cans, on the other hand, will often have a slightly darker look on the inside because of the protective coating.  Food Storage Depot only uses coated cans for our foods, which are a little more expensive, but we believe it makes a difference for our customers in the end, which is always good business.

How large are cases of #10 cans?

A case of 6 cans ships in a box 19" long x 13" wide x 7.5" high.

What are our cans made from?

Our cans are made of tin and both the inside and the outside are coated in a high quality, food-grade, gold enamel called Epoxi-Fenolic Gold. It is especially built for metal cans and doesn't contain BPA.  We use food-grade coated cans to help keep your food from tasting like a metal can once you are ready to eat it. And, as we package our own foods, we choose cans coated also on the outside to help prevent rust over time. We also use more costly, American-made cans because of their durability. 

Do foods react with the metal in the can?

No. Foods do not come in contact with the metal because they are separated from it by the can's food-grade enamel lining. The low moisture and low oil content of our foods limit degradation of the can lining.

Are cans or pouches better for my emergency supply?

It depends!  If you are building up a long-term storage, cans are ALWAYS better, but if you are looking to create a grab-n-go 72-hour kit (also called a "bug-out bag") or something similar, pouches are wonderful because they are easy to access and to open, and they come in smaller portion sizes.  Many companies are currently selling pouched food and claiming a 25-year shelf life, but that's mostly because they can make more money selling pouched than canned food, even if they tell a fib here and there.  It's the wrong thing to do for your long-term storage!!  Even Mountain House, the LEADER in Freeze-Dried food, will only claim a 10-year shelf life on their pouches, and they've been pouching food a lot longer than all the "pouch" companies popping up left and right.

What is the Shelf Life of Your Products?

It can range from as low as 10 years for some powdered or grinded products to 25-30 years for our freeze-dried products and many of our dehydrated products. 

How do your products stay fresh for so long?

The longevity is due to the packaging process. After the can is filled with the product, we place an Oxygen Absorber packet inside and then seal the can using state-of-the art canners. The cans are of the heaviest base weight metal available in the canning industry with an extra heavy electrolytic coating of tin plate for protection. To prevent rust and corrosion due to atmospheric conditions, food-grade enamel is deposited on the outside of the tin plate, and to prevent metal leaching into your food, we use a high-grade food-grade enamel on the inside of the can.

What is freeze-drying?

Freeze drying is a process that allows foods to last longer and retain more nutrients than any other method, but because of the complex process, it usually costs a premium.  Some say that freeze dried foods can retain up to 95-99% of their nutrients.  Freeze drying happens when you take any fruit, vegetable, dairy, meat, prepared meal (e.g., lasagna, etc.), or other food which contains water and freeze it to temperatures between -58 to -112F (-50 to -80C) to assure a solid ice state.  A process called flash (or quick) freezing is used to prevent ice crystals from forming slowly and damaging the constitution of the food.  Flash freezing also helps preserve the nutritional value and overall freshness.  The ice is then vaporized (without melting) in a vacuum process that leaves the food with only 1-4% of its original moisture (usually 2% or less).  This food is then put in air-tight containers to make it last 25 or more years without losing its benefits.  The result: a very light-weight, healthy, near-perfect preservation of food without the need for chemical preservatives.  That's why astronauts, hikers, and families seek out freeze-dried foods for their various needs.  Just add water and you and your family can eat food that smells, tastes, and feels like it was made the same day. 

What are Dehydrated foods?

Dehydration is just what it says; it's a means of extracting water from foods in order to preserve them for long periods of time.  This is usually done through low-level-heating of foods for long periods of time (in dehydrators or in the sun), through wind, or by smoke.  Dehydrated foods are more common than people realize and it is more than likely you have eaten them most of your life.  For example, beans, spaghetti, macaroni, rice, pancake mixes, oats, and so much more are all dehydrated.  Dehydrated foods are not pre-cooked ahead of time, and dehydrated foods usually preserve more nutrients than many heat-canned and some frozen foods.  Plus, most dehydrated foods can last a long time; often 20-30 years, especially when not packaged in a powdered form.

What's the difference between Freeze-Dried and Dehydrated foods?

Both dehydrated and freeze-dried processes remove water from the foods. So, in all reality, both can be considered de-"hydrated," yet the difference between "Dehydrated" and "Freeze-dried" foods is how the water is extracted and also the difference of preservation and food quality.  Dehydration uses low-level heat over a long period of time, or wind, or smoke to evaporate the water, while freeze-drying uses extremely low temperatures and vacuum chambers to "sublimate" the water (sublimation is like evaporation except the water goes from a solid to a gas without ever turning to liquid first). Where dehydrated foods are not pre-cooked before dehydration, freeze-dried foods can be either cooked or not before the freeze-drying process.  Both dehydrated and freeze-dried foods can be a good balance for your choice of food storage.  Some people enjoy the texture, compactness, and value of dehydrated foods and others prefer freeze-dried because it retains more nutrients and locks in freshness, color, and aroma and yet, still preserves for long periods of time. 

What are some of the advantages of dehydrated foods?

The advantages of dehydrated foods over regular wet-packed foods (such as MRE's or cans of food at grocery stores) are: dehydrated foods (fruits and vegetables) are picked when ripe and then dried, often store in 1/5 the space of wet packed foods, don't spoil easily, and will last for decades when sealed in oxygen free cans and stored in cooler locations. 

What are the shelf-lives of Freeze-Dried and Dehydrated foods?

Most freeze-dried and dehydrated foods have a shelf life of up to 25-30 years, with exceptions such as some items, such as powdered meals (such as pancake mixes, etc) and many dairy products which often have shelf-lives between of 10-20 years.  Flours have a long shelf life yet can lose their rising properties after about 3 years.  

Why are cans with Freeze-Dried foods so light-weight?

Foods that are dried have had nearly all their moisture removed, which is the majority of food weight. When these foods are reconstituted with water, the weight increases several times over.  Also, because freeze-dried foods retain most of their original shape (unlike dehydrated foods that shrivel and are very compact), they have a lot of air pockets within the food. 

What are freeze-dried meals like?

Because freeze drying is a more expensive method of food preservation, the process not only locks in nutrients but also the tastes and textures of most foods.  Once you add hot water, wait about 10-15 minutes, and give it a little stir; the food is ready to eat and is comparable to freshly prepared and cooked meals, sometimes even better, because the seasonings and ingredients are already mixed in by chefs to the right proportions. 

How long do dehydrated foods last once I open the can?

Once the seal on the can is opened, dehydrated foods typically will last from about 6 months to about 24 months (depending on factors such as temperature and humidity). Dehydrated foods don't require refrigeration, simply store in a relatively cool place. Remember to reseal the opened cans with a plastic lid after using each time, and it may be a good idea to leave the oxygen absorber inside.  The oxygen absorber is heavier than air and doesn't evaporate completely upon opening. Keeping the absorber inside may help to keep foods fresher and maximize the storage/shelf life. When removing smaller portions from the can, use a cup, spoon, or other tool to scoop the food out rather than pouring it out. This method minimizes oxygen absorption loss and helps keep new oxygen and moisture from entering the can, permitting the food to retain its freshness for the longest possible time.

Are freeze-dried or dehydrated foods better than canned foods at the grocery store?

Both Freeze-Dried and Dehydrated Foods are top-quality foods, that are picked when ripe, cleaned, trimmed to leave only the best parts, prepared, and then the moisture is extracted by highly sophisticated drying processes. From there, these foods are sealed in heavy-duty coated cans, oxygen free, to insure the longest possible shelf life.  On the other hand, canned foods normally found at the grocery store, are considered "wet foods" and have 2 main problems associated with long-term storage.  First, the foods at the grocery store have short shelf lives (even while sealed), and many of the nutrients have been lost because of the boiling process these foods first go through to be canned.  Other benefits for dehydrated and freeze-dried foods over grocery-store bought foods are that you can yield more food per can of dried food than a can of wet food, and it is much lighter to carry in the case of emergency, etc.

Why Oxygen Absorbers?

Long-term food storage requires your food is protected from sunlight, moisture, and oxygen (3 of the 4 conditions that break down foods quickly, the last being temperature).  #10 cans and Mylar bags can block sunlight and moisture, yet oxygen still exists.  So, by getting rid of the oxygen will help foods last much longer.  A 750cc oxygen absorber is typically used in #10 cans and leaves no detectable oxygen in the cans or pouches, once sealed.  In fact, oxygen absorbers have extra capacity still in them once the cans are opened.  Oxygen absorbers also help create a small vacuum in the can while protecting nitrogen.  Since air usually contains about 78% nitrogen and 20% oxygen, it's important to note that oxygen in these cans is absorbed yet the nitrogen is ignored by the oxygen absorber.  Many companies claim that either nitrogen or CO2 "flushes" are sufficient, but that is seldom the case, and is one of the scam techniques of our industry. 

Safety and Sanitation:

Our foods are approved and monitored by organizations such as the USDA, and the FDA to make sure your food is kept safe and sanitary. We also utilize HACCP and GMP programs. 

How are Food Storage Depot's foods packed?

Our foods are packed for extremely long term storage. Heavy-duty #10 cans and/or mylar bags are used most often and usually 6 cans will fit to a box.  Typically, as per government specification requires, at least 98% of the oxygen has been removed for long term storage.

How should I store my food to prolong shelf life?

Food storage should be stored in a cool, dry area. The colder and the dryer, the better.  70°F or lower is a good rule of thumb to help maximize food storage shelf life, and between 38-50°F is ideal.  Sometimes a 10°F drop in temperature can double your shelf life. At 80°F or higher, your food will begin to break down at a much faster rate.
Because of the “oven” effect, especially in direct sunlight, you’re basically cooking whatever is inside the packaging. You should avoid putting cans directly on concrete floors, since concrete holds moisture and sometimes “sweats” and that moisture might cause cans to rust and wear thin.  Many of our customers place their food storage on racks or on boards where air can circulate underneath, or under stairs or under beds, or in cool garages.  Use your best judgment.

Is the food storage rodent proof?

Because our food comes in heavy duty #10 cans, your food is protected from rodents, insects, and much more.

What is TVP?

TVP is short for Textured Vegetable Protein, and is actually made from soybeans. It is very high in potassium, is a good source of the essential amino acids, and also contributes calcium and magnesium to your diet.  TVP keeps its nutritional value for a long time and provides a lot of protein and fiber. Also, because it's dry, it has a very low bacterial count. Many vegetarians love it as well because it is a great protein supplement yet contains no meat or meat bi-products. It is a good source of protein and mimics meats well enough that sometimes it's difficult to tell the difference. TVP is "the" meat substitute for long term storage.  In fact, you've probably eaten this before in restaurants without even knowing it since it's widely used today in pizzas, tacos, and much more. 

Is TVP the same thing as Tofu?

Many wonder if TVP is the same as tofu. Well, it isn't. It is, however, made from soy. TVP comes from defatted soy flour, which is a by-product of soybean oil, so it is plentiful in supply. It’s also quick to cook and a great source of vegetable protein without all the fat. TVP comes in small dry chunks or in a finely-ground form. Plain TVP is flavorless, but when you rehydrate it and add your own flavors, it makes a great protein-filled addition to many dishes calling for ground meat. Because of its varying texture, it’s versatile, and can take on the texture of many meats. For instance, it’s excellent in chili, tacos, veggie burgers and soups. A 43-gram serving of TVP contains 120 calories and 21 grams of protein and hardly any fat. When it’s used to replace meat in stews and soups, your family will hardly be able to tell the difference and since you can marinate it in many of the same sauces as meat, it can take on many of meat’s flavors.

How do MREs differ from Dehydrated or Freeze-Dried foods?

MREs are neither dehydrated or freeze-dried meals, and they don't require rehydration (adding water) before eating, which means you can eat MREs right out of the package with no preparation required. That's why they are called "Meals Ready to Eat" or MRE.  Yet, rather than having a 15-30 year shelf lives, MREs typically only have about a 3-5 year shelf life, though some claim 10 years under ideal conditions (i.e., in cooler locations). 

Do you offer any gluten free products?

Yes. Look under our "Popular Searches" tab for some suggestions.

Do you offer vegetarian products?

Yes. Look under our "Popular Searches" tab for some suggestions.

How often should I rotate my water storage?

We recommend you rotate your water yearly unless you treat the water to last longer.

If I need to order larger quantities than normal of an item can I get a discount?

When requesting a quantity discount (over $15,000) please contact us by email and let us know what item you are interested in and an estimated quantity you expect to purchase. We will then determine a price for the bulk purchase.

What are your business hours?

Monday through Friday, 8am to 5pm MST, except holidays.

What does "In Stock" mean?

This means our canneries have access to these items for canning or we have stock on hand. Orders are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Does "In Stock" mean you can fill my order right away?

Not always. With thousands of orders being processed, shipping may take up to 2-4 weeks to fulfill.  Orders are taken and filled on a first-come, first-served basis. 

What if I have allergies?  Should I be concerned?

Food is processed on machines that are in constant use and process various products. Even though machines are cleaned regularly in a USDA inspected facility, traces of allergens may still be present. People with severe allergies must follow their own best judgment.