How long does canned food last?

From protein-packed tuna to spicy tomatoes, canned goods are an essential part of any well-stocked pantry because they're healthy, cheap, and affordable. Canned foods can be just as nutritious as their fresh and frozen counterparts, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 

Perhaps the best part of canned foods is their longevity, which allows you to store food for emergencies and last minute meals.


What does the date mark mean on canned food
When it comes to the shelf life of canned food, it helps to understand what the date stamp means (or doesn't mean). Otherwise, you may find yourself throwing away useless cans when they are actually-safe to eat. There may be different dates and numbers on store-bought canned foods, including the product's manufacturing date, manufacturing company information and batch code, and the "use by" or "sell by" date,  The "use by" and "sell by" dates refer to the quality, or peak flavor and freshness of the product. After this date, the manufacturer cannot guarantee that his product [will be] the most delicious.

 In short, the date on the pack indicates quality, not safety. There are other ways to know if canned food is spoiled and not to eat it.

 How long is unopened canned food good for?
If you have a collection of canned goods in your pantry or cupboard, you'll be happy to know that they can last forever, or at least for years (yes, years!) to pass. date listed on the label.

 Generally, high acid foods (such as tomatoes) will remain good for 18 months past the use or sell by date, while low acid foods (such as meat and vegetables) will remain at their height. two to five years.
However, for this long life to be effective, the pack must be in good condition, i.e. free of pitted rust, rust, swelling, leaks and damage such as rust or stains. 


The right way to store canned food
You can ensure that your canned food is safe by storing it properly. Canned goods should be stored in a cool and dry place because heat and humidity can accelerate spoilage and rust. This means places like under the sink, on the stove and in the sink, above the stove, and damp basements are not recommended, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. In addition, canned goods should not be exposed to high temperatures or low temperatures, which can increase the risk of damage and breakage, respectively.

 When to get rid of canned food
Since this condition can affect the safety of its contents, looking for physical signs on the can will help you decide if it is safe to use. The USDA advises against eating food from cans that are leaking, discolored, cracked or rusted. The same goes for canned goods that give off a bad smell or runny when opened.

Canned foods and botulism

These defects create holes in the can, allowing a small amount of oxygen to enter. This creates an environment where botulinum spores can spread, leading to the growth of Clostridium botulinum bacteria,. Even in low oxygen, Clostridium botulinum produces a toxin that causes botulism, a rare but serious disease that affects the body's nerves. Rust is not a concern. \

 Home canned good
If treated properly, home canned goods can last for years. The quality and nutritional value of the product will decrease over time, but it is safe to eat. And if the lid cracks or swells on your canned product, throw it away. This happens when bacteria that are not killed during the cooking process grow and release gas, causing the lining to crack or expand.

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