Canned Food Doesn’t Last Forever

Hording cans of food at the back of your cupboard? Best to eat them before they go bad

Most canned food is good for up to 2 years, but not all of it!

Only stock up on canned goods if you’ll eat them within about 18 months

If you love to stock up on canned foods during caselot sales, consider this: Even though this food has been processed (to kill the organisms that cause spoilage) and canned, it will not last forever.

Manufacturers generally recommend that canned products be used within a year, however, canned foods generally last at least two years.

High-acid foods, such as tomato products and canned fruits, should be used within 18 months. Some canned foods are marked with a “best-before” date, which is not the same as an expiry date. Best-before refers to the period of time when the food is at its peak quality; after that date the food is still considered safe, however, its flavour, texture and nutritional content may be affected.

In Canada, if a food is anticipated to have a shelf life longer than 90 days, it is not required to have a best-before date.

To ensure your canned goods are at their best, store them in a cool, dry cupboard and always rotate your stock – eat the oldest canned foods first.

Throw out cans that are leaking, bulging, have dents along the seam or show damage or rust.

Originally published in Wellness Matters, Canada Wide Media’s quarterly newsletter on health and wellness.