How Long After Expiration Date Can You Eat Canned Food?

Canned food is a convenient and shelf-stable way to enjoy a variety of fruits, vegetables, proteins, and other items. It’s even possible to buy canned food that has been pre-cooked or ready-to-eat. But like any other type of food, canned food has an expiration date that should be followed in order to ensure the best quality and safety of the product.

The expiration date on canned food is an estimate of how long the product can be stored and still remain safe to eat. Generally speaking, the expiration date on canned goods will be 1-4 years after the manufacturing date. However, this can vary depending on the type of product, its ingredients, and other factors.

How long after expiration can you eat canned food?

In general, it is safe to consume canned food up to two years after its “best by” or “use by” date if stored properly. After two years have passed, it’s best to discard any cans that are bulging, leaking, or have dents or rust spots. Additionally, you should always inspect each can prior to opening it in order to check for signs of spoilage.

What if I want to keep my canned goods longer than two years?

If you want to keep your canned goods for longer than two years after their expiration date, there are several things you can do in order to ensure their safety. First and foremost, always store your cans in a cool dry place away from direct sunlight.

Additionally, make sure all cans are sealed tightly and never mix old cans with new ones. Finally, if you notice any bulging or leaking from a can when opening it up for consumption – discard immediately.


Canned foods may be convenient but they do have an expiration date that needs to be taken into consideration when consuming them. Generally speaking it is safe to consume canned goods up to two years beyond their indicated “best by” or “use by” date if stored properly. Beyond this point it is best practice not only inspect each can prior opening but also discard any cans that show signs of spoilage such as bulging or leaking.