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Is it just for dispensing or is it better other than for space in some way?
They are rarely stored on their side. Restaurants and cafeterias often use a sloped rack so they can rotate inventory. With the use of angle iron, it’s more efficient and more hygienic storage when you have a requirement to pull one of any can. Even then, cans are often replenished from cases stored in dry goods, at least for bigger operations. Each “slot” on the typical rack holds 6 cans ( 1 case)

The health departments are more amenable to metal cans in a metal rack in the generally wet kitchen, while cardboard boxes are preferred to be kept in dry storage.

Cans are normally stored vertically, with 70 cases per pallet (10 tiers of 7 cans)
 

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Every kitchen I worked in had them upright.It has no effect on food quality,but convienence like you mentioned.
 

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Until a few years ago, all my #10 cans were stored on the bottom/flat. Never noticed any problems with the contents. A few years ago we got a FIFO rack #10 cans that store on their side, haven't had any problems with that either. They ship stored flat & most stores stock & display them flat. I'm sure some restaurants & large institutions use some sort of FIFO system as well. If there was a way that mattered, I'm fairly sure it would say on the can as well. I mean if a place could advertise an extra 5 years of shelf life and/or better tasting if stored one way or the other, they'd say so. I can't imagine any scientific reason one way would matter more than the other either.

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Nope. If you don't have a sloped rack that you take from the front add from the rear, then stack them up however that works for you.

Most long-term #10 cans are dry goods and any particular position can't make any difference. If you have wet pack cans (fruit in syrup, tomato sauce, soup, etc.) it is good to either roll over or up-end the cans every now and then to keep from settling solids on the bottom and water to the top too badly. But you don't HAVE to do that. Everything will just need more stirring when you open it. No problem.
 

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It's all about the rolling.

If you have a rack that works by rolling cans into position, you lay them on the side.

If you have flat racks or shelves you set them on the end, because if you don't, they roll off.

If you leave them in cases, on the flat is better as it puts less pressure on the cardboard.
 
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