Is It OK to Eat Expired Canned Food?

It is a common misconception that if canned food has expired, it is not safe to eat. After all, if food has gone bad, it can cause stomach issues or food poisoning.

However, the truth is that expired canned food can be safe to eat.

Canned food has an expiration date on the package for a reason: to help you know when it should be consumed by. But that doesn’t mean the food will go bad the day after its expiration date.

Instead, it’s more of a guideline than an exact science. In fact, most canned foods can last well beyond their expiration date.

What Causes Canned Food To Go Bad?

The biggest reason canned foods go bad is due to spoilage caused by bacteria or mold growth. This can occur when the cans have been stored in an environment that is too warm or humid, as these conditions are ideal for bacterial growth. High temperatures can also cause the cans to swell and become distorted, which can allow air and bacteria into the cans.

How Long Does Canned Food Last?

Generally speaking, properly stored canned foods should last for at least one year past their expiration date. However, this does not apply to all types of canned food; some may expire sooner than others. To ensure your canned goods remain safe and edible for as long as possible, store them in a cool and dry place away from direct sunlight.

How Can You Tell If Canned Food Is Spoiled?

It is important to inspect cans before consuming them. Look out for signs of swelling or distortion in the cans as this can indicate spoilage. Additionally, you should check for any signs of rust on the lid or body of the container before opening it as this could indicate corrosion of the metal due to moisture.


At the end of the day, it is up to you to decide whether or not you feel comfortable eating expired canned food. While most items will remain edible beyond their expiration date if stored properly, some items may start spoiling sooner than others so it’s best to use your own judgement when deciding whether or not it is safe to consume them past their expiration date.