Does Canned Food Need to Be Refrigerated?

Canned food is a convenient and cost-effective way to stock up on non-perishable items for your pantry. However, there are certain items that should be refrigerated to ensure freshness and safety. It is important to understand the difference between canned food that needs to be refrigerated and those that don’t.

Canned food can generally last up to two years if stored properly, in a cool, dry place. Canned items such as vegetables, fruits, soups, sauces, jams and other products with high sugar or salt content can last even longer. If these products are stored in an environment where the temperature is not kept constant (such as a garage or pantry), they may need to be used more quickly.

It is important to note that canned food should not be stored in direct sunlight as it can cause the cans to corrode or even explode. Additionally, canned food should not be exposed to extreme temperatures, including freezing temperatures as this can cause the cans to expand and rupture.

Items That Need To Be Refrigerated

Certain types of canned food must be refrigerated after opening. These include fish and meat products, dairy products such as milk and cheese, eggs, sauerkraut, pickles and olives. These items should also be used within two days of opening the can.

Items That Don’t Need To Be Refrigerated

Canned fruit juices and most vegetables do not need to be refrigerated after opening but should still be consumed within two days unless otherwise indicated on the label.

Tips For Storing Canned Food Properly

  • Store cans at room temperature away from direct sunlight.
  • Check for dents in the can before purchasing.
  • Do not buy cans with damaged labels or seals.
  • Label opened cans with their contents and expiration date (if applicable).


In conclusion, it is important to know which canned foods need refrigeration after opening and which do not. Cans should always be stored at room temperature away from direct sunlight for optimal freshness. Additionally, opened cans should have their contents labeled along with an expiration date (if applicable).

By following these simple tips you can ensure your canned foods remain safe and fresh for longer periods of time. So in answer to the question – Does Canned Food Need To Be Refrigerated? The answer is yes – depending on the type of product you have purchased!