HOW LONG CAN YOU KEEP CANNED GOODS?

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Are canned goods still safe after a year? Two years? Longer?

Store canned foods and other shelf staple products in a cool, dry place. Never put them above the stove, under the sink, in a damp garage or basement, or any place exposed to high or low temperature extremes. Store high acid foods such as tomatoes and other fruit up to 18 months; low acid foods such as meat and vegetables, 2 to 5 years.

Canned meat and poultry will keep at best quality 2 to 5 years if the can remains in good condition and has been stored in a cool, clean, dry place.

While extremely rare, a toxin produced by Clostridium botulinum is the worst danger in canned goods. NEVER USE food from containers that show possible “botulism” warnings: leaking, bulging, or badly dented cans; cracked jars or jars with loose or bulging lids; canned food with a foul odor; or any container that spurts liquid when opening. DON’T TASTE SUCH FOOD! Even a minuscule amount of botulinum toxin can be deadly.

Can linings might discolor or corrode when metal reacts with high-acid foods such as tomatoes or pineapple. As long as the can is in good shape, the contents should be safe to eat, although the taste, texture and nutritional value of the food can diminish over time.

Taken from the USDA Food Safety Site

6 Comments

  1. MARVIENE BEEGLE says:

    WHAT ABOUT FROZEN FRUIT? HOW LONG FOR THEM !!

    • Frozen fruits and vegetables will keep indefinitely in the freezer but begin to lose their flavor after 8 months to a year. Nearly all frozen foods will keep indefinitely but the flavor is the problem after so long.

  2. THANKS FOR THE INFORMATION ON CAN FOODS. I HAVE THROWN FOODS AWAY THAT I THOUGHT WERE FINE. BUT BECAUSE OF EXPIRATION DATE WAS AFRAID. TELL ME ABOUT SALAD DRESSING?

  3. It was pretty spooky when we helped the food bank last spring. Their guidelines were pretty darn iffy. Most of us know about some of the tips, but clostridium botulinum is deadly as all get out….and a derivitive of that is what they make Botox from. Some doctors bought cheap stuff with tragic results.

  4. Thanks, Tammy! That is a wonderful tip. I do get my bread from the back but I need to start rearranging my canned foods.

  5. Another tip is when storing in the pantry always move the older goods forward and store the newer goods behind, just like they do in the grocery…the very reason I grab the freshest loaf of bread from the back of the shelf! ;-D

    I found your blog recently and am enjoying my visits!☺

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