How Long Does Canned Food Really Last?

Canned food is one of the most convenient and cost-effective foods available. It’s shelf-stable, easy to store, and can last for years if stored properly. While the expiration dates on canned food are not always reliable, it is possible to determine how long your canned goods will remain safe and edible.

The shelf life of canned food is determined by the type of food product and the processing method used when it was manufactured. Most cans are made from either steel or aluminum and have a thin lining on the inside to protect the contents from direct contact with the metal. This lining helps preserve the food for a longer period of time, but it does eventually start to break down over time. The contents of canned goods can also be affected by exposure to heat, light, oxygen, and moisture.

Canned foods will generally last for two to five years past their printed expiration date if stored in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.

However, there are some types of canned foods that will only last for up to one year past their printed expiration date. These include soups, sauces, stews, fruits, vegetables, and fish.

It’s important to store your canned goods properly in order to maximize their shelf life. Store them at room temperature in a cool place away from direct sunlight or sources of heat. Keep them in an area that doesn’t experience extreme temperature changes or high levels of humidity such as a pantry or cupboard with good air circulation. Also make sure that you inspect each can before opening it – if there is any sign of rusting or bulging then do not use it as these are signs that it has gone bad already.


In conclusion, canned food can last between two and five years past its printed expiration date if stored properly in a cool dry place away from direct sunlight. However some types of canned food only last up to one year after its printed expiration date so make sure you check each can before opening them as they may be spoiled already due to rusting or bulging cans.
With proper storage techniques your canned goods can safely last for several years past their printed expiration date!