Can Old Canned Food Explode?

The answer is yes, but it’s not as simple as that. Canned food can explode for a variety of reasons, ranging from improper storage to the presence of bacteria in the can.

When a can is sealed and stored for an extended period, pressure builds up inside the container due to air and food particles trapped in the can. This pressure can cause the lid to bulge and eventually burst open, releasing all of the built-up pressure. This is why it’s important to store canned goods correctly – in a cool, dry place – and check them regularly for signs of spoilage.

Bacteria are another possible cause of exploding cans. Bacterial growth produces gas which, if left unchecked, will build up enough pressure to cause the can to swell or even explode. This is why it’s important to inspect cans before opening them and discard any that show signs of spoilage or contamination.

The age of canned goods also plays a role in whether or not they will explode. Over time, cans corrode due to oxidation and chemical reactions between their contents and their packaging material. If a can has been stored for too long, its structural integrity may be compromised enough that pressure from air or bacteria will cause it to burst open.


Old canned food can indeed explode due to high pressure caused by air or bacteria trapped inside the container, as well as corrosion from age that weakens its structure. To prevent this from happening, make sure you inspect cans before opening them and store them in a cool dry place away from any heat sources.