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Canning expiration dates

by Krista
(Mesa, AZ)

How long do canned items stay good for? Does it vary by what you can?


The USDA official recommendation is that you use the food within one year.

I usually stay pretty close to that although I'd not have a problem eating foods a couple of years old as long as the seal is still good and there is no sign of spoiled food .

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I live on the edge.
by: Anonymous

When researching for the canning classes I taught this summer, I found a study on this very topic. It said that after five years, the nutritional value of the canned foods had decreased by 3%, and that after five years, the rate of nutrient loss increased such that by 63 years there would be no nutrition left in the food.

After the research I did, and after participating in many, many discussions with women who have been canning for decades, I have finally come to the conclusion that it depends upon the storage conditions. Ideally, the storage area is cool and dry. By "cool", 40 degrees year-round. Many of us don't have that situation. But those foods are likely to remain edible and nutritious for 20 years. At 70 degrees, that drops to 10 years.

I have almost 1400 jars in my indoor, air conditioned pantry, and I am confident that they will still be edible and nutritious in seven or eight years. Your mileage may vary, of course.

Canning expiration dates
by: R P

So after 63 years of home canned food on the shelf it would equal the same nutrition as the Standard American Diet (SAD) most people eat today anyway. LOL

My mom canned a lot when we were kids and I remember eating jars of food that had been canned 4 to 5 years previously. Lots of Tomato Gravy and biscuits in hard times. mmmmm They sure didn't taste like hard times.


LOL Love this comment! :0)

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Beets - How long can canned beets be stored.

by anonymous

I have home canned beets from 2006 and 2007; are they still safe to eat????


The official USDA recommendation is that canned products be used within one year.

However this is a debatable topic. The nutrition levels will start declining but many people do use their home canned foods longer than that.

If you choose to eat them just be very sure that the seals are still sealed, and the food has no off odors or funny colors.

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How long will canned foods last
by: Ken

The two links above will show documented cases of canned (Pressured caned) meats and other foods to have lasted more than 100 years. These foods were tested in a lab and found to be perfectly fine to eat.

Now personally I don't think I'd eat 100 year old meat and surely would never give it to my family. But I wouldn't hesitate based on the extensive research I've done to open and serve a 10 year old Mason jar of meat. This assumes proper sealing and lack of foul smell etc.

As for high acid foods I believe one year is the norm.

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