How Long Does Canned Meat Last? – 4 Important Things To Check If Canned Meat Is still Good

We all know that canned foods are very convenient when you want to stock up on some pantry essentials.

They are very affordable and are very easy to cook. Basically, everyone should have some canned foods in the pantry.

Even though it is good to stock up on some canned foods, there is the potential of a certain problem arising.

What happens when you find that you have some old cans of meat at the back of the pantry? Should you eat it? How will you tell if it is good or not?

In this post, we highlight some of the details you need to know about how long does canned meat last

We will let you know the different ways of telling if the canned meat is good and how best to store it to avoid it going bad. Let’s get started.

How Long Does Canned Meat Last?

There are several factors that will affect the life of canned meat. For instance, have you opened the can yet?

Additionally, different kinds of meat have different durations before they become bad. You should also know that the life of canned meat will depend on the provided best before date.

Some of the types of canned meat that you can have include:

  • Spam
  • Canned Tuna
  • Canned Corn Beef
  • Canned Chicken
  • Canned Clams
  • Deviled Ham

In general, canned meat will last around two to five years when not opened. Once the can is open, the general shelf-life will be around five days.

Spam Classic

Canned Meat Types

Shelf Life
Unopened (Pantry)After Opening (Refrigerator)
Spam2-5 Years7 – 10 Days
Canned Chicken2-5 Years5 – 7 Days
Canned Tuna2-5 Years5 – 7 Days
Canned Corn Beef2-5 Years7 – 10 Days
Deviled Ham2-5 Years3 – 5 Days
Canned Clams2-5 Years5 – 7 Days
Comparison of Canned Meat Shelf Life

How To Read The Expiration Date On Canned Food

How To Read The Expiration Date On Canned Food

It is very important that you consider the food’s expiration date. This is the first thing that should help you figure out if the food is safe for consumption or not.

These dates are very important in ensuring that you do not consume food that is bad.

As for the “best by” date, it helps you recognize the current quality of the food and not much about the safety of the food.

These dates are provided by the food manufacturer and not third-party organizations. For more details about reading expiration dates, we recommend you read this article.

How To Tell If Canned Meat Is Bad Or Spoiled

How To Tell If Canned Meat Is Bad Or Spoiled

Before you decide to eat canned meat, it is very important that you check whether it is good or if it has gone bad.

This is a measure to ensure that you and your family do not get food poisoning or other related illnesses because of it. There are very simple ways to tell if the canned meat is spoiled or bad.

Check the Shape of Cans

If a can is rusting or is damaged, there are very high chances that the food is contaminated or is going bad. There are certain aspects of the can that you have to check to make sure that the can is okay.

First, you need to make sure that there are no bulging or loose lids on the jars. You also need to make sure that the can is not dented badly, leaking, or bulging.

Mishandling of the cans is the cause of these problems and it is crucial that you handle them properly when moving them to your house.

If they are being delivered to your house, you have to make sure that they are in the best condition.

Open the Can

Once you make sure that the can is intact in regards to the shape and condition, the next thing you have to do is open the can to access the food.

If you notice any liquids coming out of the can, we recommend you throw it away immediately.

If there is no liquid spurting, you should check the food’s surface for any signs of scum or mold. Stay safe and healthy by avoiding food with any scum or mold.

Smell the Food in the Can

After making sure that there are no signs of foul play on the can and the food, smell the food in the can. If the food is good, it should have a fresh smell and no unpleasant or unusual smell should be coming from the can.

Lastly, Taste it

Now that you have made sure everything is okay, the next step should be tasting.

However, you have to remember that food that has been stored for a long time will have a small difference in flavor. That is especially true if the food was sweetened.

Can You Still Eat Canned Meat After the ‘Best By’ Date?

You can still eat canned meat after the ‘best by’ date. The ‘best by’ often shows the quality of the meat, not its safety. Canned meat can last for a couple of years and still be safe to eat.

At the same time, the state of the meat will depend on the condition of the can. Any swelling, rust, or dents might affect the quality of the meat after a while. 

You will be more sure about the canned meat when you open the can.

If you don’t have anything else to eat, you can have the canned meat. Remember to check if the meat is spoiled. 

How to Store Canned Meat to Maximum Shelf Life

How to Store Canned Meat to Maximum Shelf Life

Canned meat will normally spoil because of being stored poorly. As you will notice on most cans, the best way to store food is in a cool, dry place.

Proper temperatures will ensure that the food remains of top quality for a long time. Most of the microorganisms we avoid will thrive in the cans that are stored in higher temperatures and damp areas.

Temperatures above 95 degrees Fahrenheit will help the growth of such microorganisms, which then spoil the food.

Read this article for detailed information regarding the proper storage of food.

Stackable Can Storage


Does canned meat go bad?

Canned meat can go bad if not properly stored. That means that the meat should be stored in the proper temperatures and in dry areas.

As you will notice, microorganisms that support the expiry of food will grow at certain temperatures and in damp areas. The state of the can used for the meat will also determine the state of the food.

How long is it safe to store canned food?

Different foods will remain safe in storage for different periods depending on several factors such as the acidic levels of the food. However, most foods will remain safe for around two to five years.

How does canned meat not go bad?

If stored properly in a good can, there are very low chances that the food will go bad. Make sure that the temperature is below 95 degrees Fahrenheit and the can is in good condition.

In Conclusion

Make sure that you feed your family good food that is not spoiled in any way. Follow the different methods we have provided to make sure that the food is in the best state before you decide to consume it or serve it.

We also recommend that you store your food properly so that it is in the best condition possible. The right temperatures should allow your food to last longer than you would need it to.