How Long Does It Take for Canned Food to Spoil?

Canned food is a great way to keep your pantry stocked with nutritious and easy-to-prepare meals. It’s convenient, it’s shelf-stable and it’s a great way to ensure that you’ll always have something to eat in case of emergencies. But how long does canned food last?

Canned food typically has a shelf life of at least two years from the time it was processed. This can vary depending on the type of food, however, as some cans may last for up to five years before they start to lose their nutritional value and taste. In general, the unopened cans of fruits, vegetables, soups and meats that have been properly processed and sealed should remain safe for consumption for up to two years.

Once opened, canned food should be transferred into an airtight container or resealable bag and stored in the refrigerator where it will remain safe for consumption for up to five days. If you don’t plan on eating all of the canned food within five days, you can freeze it in an airtight container or bag for up to six months.

Signs That Canned Food Is Spoiling:

The most obvious sign that canned food is starting to go bad is if there is visible mold or bacterial growth on the surface of the can or inside once opened. Additionally, if there is a foul smell coming from the can or if the contents are discolored or slimy-looking then it’s likely time to throw out the can.

If you find yourself unsure about whether or not your canned food is still safe to eat, it’s always best err on the side of caution and throw out any cans that are past their expiration date or show signs of spoilage.


Canned foods typically have a shelf life of at least two years from when they were processed.

Once opened however, canned foods should be eaten within five days when stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. If not eaten within this timeframe then they should be thrown out as signs of spoilage may become apparent such as visible mold or bacterial growth on the surface of the can.