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I'm in an apartment with limited kitchen storage space. I want to store some dry food products like tea, coffee, cereal, rice, etc. but the only place I found for them is basically under the sink (actually, it's not directly under it, but it's one of those sketchy areas with a bunch of pipes; next to the dishwasher):

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I've always been wary of storing food down there for no other reason than it feels like a dirty place. Will dry food be safe down there assuming I don't also store cleaning products down there?

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    I don't know about the food, but the electrical outlet definitely isn't safe. Depending on where you live, it's also probably illegal. – isanae Aug 6 '18 at 1:53
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    @isanae It's not actually under the sink (maybe I should edit my title), but next to the dishwasher. Not sure if that's still a problem – pushkin Aug 6 '18 at 13:57
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    @pushkin It's near enough a water source that it needs to be on a GFCI circuit. Since the outlet in the picture is not a GFCI outlet, and it's likely on its own line I'm guessing it's violating code. If it's on a line with another outlet that IS GFCI then you're covered. – Logarr Aug 6 '18 at 20:49
  • @Logarr It's extremely common for such receptacles to be wired downstream of a GFCI that's in a place that's actually reachable without crawling under the counter. – chrylis Aug 7 '18 at 3:32
  • @chrylis I would hope so, but in the places I have lived dishwashers and garbage disposals are on their own circuit. There's only the one receptacle so it has to be GFCI, or the breaker does. Hopefully this one is not the only receptacle on that circuit. – Logarr Aug 7 '18 at 4:17
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Your concerns would be moisture, insects and/or rodents. Simply put your products in airtight containers. You'll be just fine. (By the way, my mom always stored onions and potatoes under the sink).

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Am hoping you have thought of sink leaks. I would not prefer to put any dry foods under sink but if that's the only place left, why not put non food items under the sink.

  • I already put non food items under it, but I ran out of cabinets for food. (Actually the cabinet in the picture isn't directly under the sink, but it's next to the dishwasher) – pushkin Aug 6 '18 at 17:34
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You are better off storing these things in another room than under the sink, like on a hall closet shelf. They will get wet under the sink, airtight containers or no.

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    While this is a potential issue, as I point out above, there is no moisture under my sink. Just because water is nearby, doesn't meant the space will get wet. I don't see any water damage in those photos. So, if items were in sealed containers this is a very low risk storage area. – moscafj Aug 6 '18 at 20:55
  • @moscafj You may want to consider that the air will be more moist near the sink, even if there's no pools or sprays of water; humidity will be much higher right there. That doesn't make it a showstopper, but it will reduce the shelf life of some dry products that are affected by humidity (think crackers, for example). – Joe M Aug 7 '18 at 14:12
  • @JoeM I don't know about "much higher", but see reference to "air tight" container in my answer above. – moscafj Aug 7 '18 at 14:27
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The concern I'd have is not the details of the food per se, but some more practical concerns.

From what I see in the pictures, you have not a clean cabinet there, but one with various connections. If this were actually under a sink it would likely include the water turnoff; while you say this isn't actually directly under the sink, it clearly contains the plug for the dishwasher, some pipes across it, and what might be the diswasher water turnoff in the bottom right of the second picture.

Being able to access these in an emergency can be crucial to preventing further damage, whether it is water damage, fire, or other problems. In a restaurant, storing items there would be a code violation in most places for this reason.

These connections also mean you have holes in the cabinetry, which makes it much more likely that vermin of various sorts would get in. While airtight containers will help prevent this, unless you have perfect hygiene and clean regularly it's likely you will end up with vermin eventually here, more likely than other areas. In a residence this is up to you how that tradeoff is handled, but it's something to consider. I wouldn't consider this nearly the problem that the safety issue is.

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