Sunday, October 18, 2009

Shelf Life of Canned Food Storage Foods

"Hi. I am from Nebraska and have been working on some meat storage. I know I had it at one time, but am having trouble finding a list showing how long it is safe to store home-canned meat products (or any food actually). Would you happen to know where I might be able to find this information? Thanks"

To answer your question, I did a general internet search and went through two of my favorite food storage books: "Your Guide to Emergency Home Storage" by Alan K. Briscoe, and "Emergency Food In A Nutshell" by Leslie D. Probert and Lisa L. Harkness. I value these books because I can see the amount of research that went into them.

There are many lists "out there." If you are ever curious about any one food item, do an internet search with the food's name and type in "shelf life" after it. As a general rule, I personally try to use all small canned good items within 2 years. So, I mark the can or case with the date of purchase. Obviously I've had some last longer, but the flavor and consistency may change. So my general answer is 2 years. You never know how long an item has been on a shelf in a store before you bought it, and if the place you have store it consistantly stays lower than 70 - 75 degrees.

Here is a good list with the shelf life of many canned goods and food storage foods at
One Year Supply Guide


  1. Here's another great site:

    It gives you the expiration of ANY kind of food you ask it. Check it out! It's awesome.

  2. Shelf life is one thing...what about the nutrient value that decreases as time goes by? Where can I find info on that?

  3. Good question Carl. I usually go to the website of the product. I try to go use my small canned goods within 2 years as a general rule though some will last longer. Tomato based products need to be eaten sooner. Best bet is to follow the expiration date on your canned goods.


Thanks for your comments and suggestions!