How Does Canned Food Last So Long?

Last Updated on July 17th, 2023

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In the United States, the monthly food waste for a family of four amounts to over 120 pounds. In these financially challenging times, that’s a lot of unnecessary waste.

Don’t waste all that food by throwing away old cans; use them in your next meal. Canned food has a long shelf life, depending on storage conditions.

Bunch of canned food stacked - How Does Canned Food Last So Long?

What Makes Canned Food So Long?

All bacteria are killed during the canning process, so canned food doesn’t need to be loaded with chemicals and preservatives. This method is how canned goods can stay edible for years after being sealed.


How long do Canned Foods Usually Last?

Most canned foods do not expire, but keeping them for more than two years is not advised. But most canned foods are still edible long after that period, albeit with some subtle changes in flavor, color, and texture.


Canned Food that Lasts the Longest

Salt, which aids preservation, increases the shelf life of canned goods because it helps keep the food fresh for longer. The shelf life of canned meats is the longest, followed by canned vegetables, fish, beans, rice, broth, soup, and finally, canned fruits.


Things that Spoil Canned Food

The acidity of the food is a major factor in determining how to categorize microbial spoilage in canned goods. Both microbial and non-microbial spoilage can cause food in a can to go bad.

There are three main causes of food spoilage in canned goods: insufficient heat application, which allows mesophilic microorganisms to survive and grow, inadequate cooling after heating or high-temperature storage.

All of it allows thermophilic spore formers to germinate and grow, and leakage contamination of cans after heat treatment.


Can You Eat Canned Food if it Passes its Expiration Date?

Canned food can last a very long time. If it has been stored correctly, the food should still be good, even if it has passed the expiration date. The color and taste may be different from that of a fresher can, but that is to be expected.


Final Thoughts on How Does Canned Food Last So Long 

Canned food is designed to last a long time. They are still good even after the expiration date shown on the product. Of course, the quality of taste would be slightly lower than that of a fresher can, but that is only natural as time goes on.

Canned goods are on the list of any survivalist due to their long-lasting shelf life. Some canned foods are good for years and years as long as the can is stored properly and undamaged.

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