Can You Eat Canned Food After 20 Years?

Canned food is a convenient and popular way to store food for long periods. But can you still eat canned food after 20 years?

The simple answer is yes, it is possible to eat canned food that has been stored for 20 years or longer, but it is important to follow some safety guidelines.

The shelf life of canned food depends on a variety of factors, such as the type of food, the type of canning process used, and how the cans have been stored. In general, most canned foods will last for at least two years before they start to lose their nutritional value and taste.

Canned foods are sealed in airtight containers to protect them from oxygen and bacteria. This helps preserve the food for much longer than other methods of storage.

As long as the can remains sealed and undamaged, it is safe to consume even after 20 years.

How To Tell If Canned Food Is Safe To Eat After 20 Years

It’s important to inspect any canned foods before consuming them, especially if they have been stored for 20 years or more. Look for any signs of rust or damage on the can itself. If there are any dents or holes in the cans, do not open them as this could lead to contamination from bacteria or other microorganisms.

Inspect The Food Inside The Can

Once you have inspected the can for any damage, open it carefully and inspect the contents inside. Check for any signs of spoilage such as discoloration or an off smell.

If there are any visible signs that the food has gone bad, discard it immediately.

Check The Expiration Date On The Can

Most canned foods will also have an expiration date printed on them which indicates when they will no longer be safe to eat. If you have a can that is more than 20 years old, it is best to check this date before consuming it.


Yes, you can eat canned food after 20 years if it has been stored properly and does not show any signs of spoilage or damage upon inspection. However, checking the expiration date on each can and inspecting its contents carefully before consumption is highly recommended.