How Long Does Canned Tuna Last (And Why?)

Exact Answer: About 2 to 5 years

One of the most tiresome and unavoidable parts of adult life is managing the kitchen. It is something every adult has to do at one point in their life and it is not as easy and pretty as is depicted by the movies. Handling food items regularly while juggling so many other responsibilities can be very hard.



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An important part of this is to avoid using food items after they have gone bad or started to rot. Unfortunately for young adults just stepping into the kitchen can be hard. Canned products are the main part of this. Their shelf life and expiry date can often be hard to determine.

How Long Does Canned Tuna Last

How Long Does Canned Tuna Last?

Canned food products are one of the most useful and thrifty food products to ever have been introduced into the kitchen. They are easy to cook and store and use. But the most important factor for which they are so loved is that they can last for a very long time, way beyond the dates mentioned on the cans.

They are perfect for busy adults or people who are not very experienced in the kitchen because they can be very easy to use. Fresh meat, although a very popular favourite is often tricky to handle. It does not remain fresh for long and thus requires the immediate attention of the chef in the kitchen and also frequent trips to the market to be acquired.

Canned meat on the other hand can be stored for a long time and can be used after a long time after being acquired. Most people find that it is very practical. Tuna is one such meat that is very popular in its canned form. This is because canned tuna can be used in a variety of healthy and tasty dishes.

How long canned tuna lasts depends on two main factors:

Unopened Can

An unopened can of tuna lasts as long as 2 to 5 years.

Opened Can

A can of tuna after being opened will last for about 5 to 7 days in the refrigerator.

State of CanTime
Unopened can2 – 5 years in the pantry
Opened can5 – 7 days in the refrigerator

Why Does Canned Tuna Last So Long?

Food items are perishable. This means that they rot and get spoiled. This is something that happens to all organic things.

Food items especially are more perishable because they are so high in nutritional value. When a food item is left untouched or unused or half used for a while, bacteria start to infest in it and begin to consume and digest it. As a result of this bacterial action. The food item is rotten.

Canning food items make use of a simple technique that prevents this bacterial action thus preserving the meat. This is called canning. It aims to preserve the food for long periods while at the same time maintaining its nutritional value.

Most simply, canning packs the meat, tuna in this case, tightly into a can and then seals it tightly with very high pressure. Next, this can is boiled to high temperatures as well as subjected to other such treatments and volatile environments which make it totally sterile and thus impossible for bacterial action to occur.

Since the environment in which the tuna is already inside the can has been sterilized and the temperature has been taken care of, the tuna remains unaffected and ready to use for as long as the can is unopened and the environment of the meat is not changed in any way.

There are many other factors on which this shelf life of canned tuna depends, including the quality of the meat and the place of storage of the can. But it works for a long time and keeps the meat ready to use.


Canned foods are a common favourite in the modern kitchen because they are so practical and so easy to use. They save a lot of time and energy for the users and are thus most preferred. But the only problem in using them is aptly determining their shelf life. this can often be quite tricky. In the case of canned tuna it is essential to remember that its shelf life, that is when unopened is 2 to 5 years, whereas once opened it lasts for 5 to 7 days if it is kept in the refrigerator. This will make it much easier and practical to use.


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