How Long Do Canned Goods Last (And Why)?

How Long Do Canned Goods Last (And Why)?

Exact Answer: More than 3 years

Canned goods come with long shelf life. Some canned goods can last more than 10 or 20 years if they are stored properly. The canned goods come with specific storage instructions which should be strictly followed by the person. There are many types of goods that are canned for increasing the shelf life.

Everyone can find canned fruits, vegetables, and meats in the market. The shelf life of the canned foods would depend on what type of food it contains. People can find canned beans, oranges, soups, and noodles. The variety of canned foods is huge, but the shelf life of each food would be different.

The canned items can be fresh if they are not opened. Once the seal of the canned food is open, then the person will have to finish the canned food in 4 to 7 days. Most canned foods come with information about how long they can stay fresh inside the can.

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How Long Do Canned Goods Last?

Canned GoodsTime
Minimum time3 years
Maximum time4 years or more

There are many brands that manufacture canned foods. Different brands would have different shelf life of the foods. The canned foods would get highly affected if they are stored in hot temperatures. The hot temperature would start deteriorating the shelf life of the canned goods.

If the canned goods are open, then the shelf life would be around 4 to 5 days in the fridge. If the canned goods are opened and stored at room temperature, then the shelf life would be around 2 to 3 hours. Sometimes, the canned goods would develop bacterial growth inside the canned if left unused for more than 12 months.

Therefore, people should try to use canned food at the earliest. The canned food is packed with water. The water content inside the canned food would make it go bad if not stored in the freezer or fridge. Storing the canned foods in the freezer is a better option than in the fridge.

The shelf life of canned seafood is around 12 to 24 months. If someone is storing the canned fruits or vegetables, then the shelf life would be around 36 months, if not opened.

The canned goods come with the best before date. The best before dates are for the references of the customer. Everyone can use the canned goods after the best before date is passed if the quality of the food products is still usable. Make sure to wash the canned food before using it in recipes.

As canned food may contain many bacteria inside them. The canned foods come with salt or without salt. The canned goods without salt are better than those with salt.

Why Do Canned Goods Last This Long?

The canned goods’ shelf life depends on the manufacturer, brand, quality, and ingredients. The quality of the canned foods or goods matters the most. For example, canned beans are available in both low and high quality. There will be brands that produce top-quality canned beans.

Always choose the premium or top-quality canned beans as they would have a longer shelf life. Corrosion is a very big problem that will disturb the shelf life of canned goods. The rusting of cans would destroy the quality of canned goods. The canned goods which contain high acid content would not last for more than 18 months.

If the acid content in the foods stored in cans is low, then the shelf life would be more than 24 months. The expired canned foods would cause foodborne illness and many other health disorders. Sometimes, the canned goods may get worse due to corrosion or rusting before the expiry date.


The canned goods come with a shelf life of around 2 to 5 years depending on various factors. Many people drain the water inside the canned food. People can use the water content inside the canned goods, but it depends on the quality of water. The canned fruits or vegetables may not last longer than 12 to 24 months.

The preservatives inside the canned foods would start becoming less effective if opened.


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Hi! I'm Nidhi.

Here at the EHL, it's all about delicious, easy recipes for casual entertaining. So come and join me at the beach, relax and enjoy the food.

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