Emergency Food Supply

The Secret to LongTerm Canned Food Storage Our Expert Tips and Tricks Revealed


Emergency readiness has sparked an appetite for cost-effective meal solutions. Canned foods are an ideal choice – simple, nutritious and budget-friendly. If stored and prepared correctly, you can keep them for extended periods without losing flavor or nutrition.

This guide is here to help. We have the science behind canned food storage and tips to help with decisions about long-term pantry needs. Selection criteria, storage methods, temperature, shelf-life and more – it's all covered. Whether you're fortifying a basement bunker or just stocking up for the odd night of hunger, this expert advice will keep your family fed in any emergency:

  • Selection criteria
  • Storage methods
  • Temperature
  • Shelf-life

Canned Food Storage Tips

Long-term canned food storage needs careful steps. If you know how to store canned food correctly, it can last longer and taste better. Here are our top tips for successful long-term canned food storage:

  1. Ensure safety and quality
  2. Check expiry dates
  3. Store in a cool, dry place
  4. Keep cans undamaged

Check expiration dates

It is essential to check expiration dates on cans before buying, and while organizing shelf-stable food stores. Sell-by and use-by dates are determined by when the manufacturer believes the product is of peak quality. With canned goods, it is more important than other food items to monitor these dates. Generally, canned goods will keep quality for up to five years after the stamped date. However, human consumption advisories suggest no more than one year of consumption beyond the printed date. Anything outside this should not be consumed and should be disposed of safely.

Canned foods can also become contaminated with bacteria if storage conditions are too hot or have incorrect moisture levels. It is best to store canned goods in a cool place that does not exceed 77 degrees Fahrenheit. Cans should also be checked regularly for dents and rips that could cause contents leakage. If found, discard immediately, as there is potential for content contamination from rust particles on cans' surfaces (Kominiarek et al., 2017).

Keep cans in a cool, dry place

Storing canned food is a breeze. But, to keep it safe, yum, and nutritious, a few considerations are necessary.

  • Find a place to store your cans in one spot. A dark, dry spot like a pantry, with temperature that remain equal over the year, is best. If not, a deep freezer will do.
  • Temperature above 75 Fahrenheit can cut the shelf life in half in two-three months. Optimum temp range for long-term storage of canned food is 50-70 Fahrenheit.
  • You might want to consider small batches and frequently check expiry dates. This way, you can rotate stock and avoid waste.
  • If stored and unopened, cans should remain edible until their expiry date. But, don't consume anything past expiry date as the quality can't be guaranteed.

Avoid storing cans in direct sunlight

Storing canned goods is one of the best ways to have food throughout the year. But, it's vital to know the correct way or you can endanger yourself and your family.

  • Avoid keeping cans in direct sunlight. This can damage the cans and heat up the contents, leading to bacteria growth or chemical reactions.
  • Put the cans in a cool, dry spot away from lights and windows. Make sure the humidity level is low, as high levels can cause sweating and rusting.
  • Keep them away from heat as the contents will expand from the heat, creating pressure and bulging.
  • Always rotate out old cans and check expiration dates.
  • Don't eat anything from an opened can without cooking it first!

Rotate cans regularly

Rotate your canned goods often. Use the “first in, first out” method. Consume the oldest items first. Check cans for dents or bulging. Check expiration dates and discard if expired. Remember: keep cool, dark and dry!

Long-Term Canned Food Storage

Ever wondered what the key is to keeping canned food fresh for long periods? We have the answers! With the correct storage methods, you can ensure your food stays safe and healthy to eat when you need it. Get our expert advice on long-term canned food storage! Read on to find out.

Store cans in airtight containers

Canned goods must be stored in airtight containers to protect them from light, air, and moisture. Find a cool, dry place that's not exposed to direct sunlight or extreme temperatures. The best temperature range for canned food storage is 45-70 degrees Fahrenheit.

When transferring cans, make sure the lids fit securely and are not damaged. Smell and check each container for any signs of spoilage. Have a variety pack of lids on hand for when you switch out cans. Label containers with dates to know when to rotate supplies. For large stocks, consider investing in all-in-one airtight/water-proof containers with access doors and clip locking latches.

Use oxygen absorbers for extra protection

Oxygen absorbers are essential when you're storing canned food for long-term. They are small sachets with a powder made of iron filings and salt. When placed in sealed containers with food, the oxygen absorbers pull out the oxygen, creating an environment where bacteria and mold cannot survive.

This is ideal for canned food storage. Using oxygen absorbers prevents loss of flavor, color, and texture. If you're using air-tight storage containers, use oxygen absorbers to supplement your seal and keep your food fresh for years.

Generally, one 400cc/100 gram sachet is enough for every five gallons of head space. Look for Oxygen Absorbers online or in stores near you, and then you'll be all set for perfect canned food storage!

Use a vacuum sealer for long-term storage

A vacuum sealer is great for storing canned foods. It removes air from sealed and unsealed cans, creating an airtight container. This prevents oxygen from spoiling the contents, extending shelf life.

When using a vacuum sealer, open each can first. Purchase bags or create them using Ziploc plastic bags or other storage items. Label all products. That way, you'll know what's inside and stay organized.


This guide has given you a better grasp of how long-term canned food storage works, and the steps you must take. With the right preparation and monitoring, canned foods can stay good much longer than the expiration date or date of sale. It can be a useful tool in any kitchen, especially if stocking up before an emergency.

Always inspect canned goods before using. If it looks bloated, or you can smell or taste that it is spoiled, discard it and thoroughly clean the area it was stored with disinfectant. Keep cans away from light and temperature changes that could cause splitting of the food containers. Put storage containers over cans to avoid bacterial growth on internal walls caused by dents, punctures, or rusting holes.

This guide provided the required knowledge to store your canned goods properly, so they last as long as possible without any worry of contamination or wastage. Don't forget to rotate them! Rotating products regularly will help you consume foods at peak quality, and avoid spoiled cans taking up needed storage space.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: What is the best way to store canned food for long-term storage?

A1: Canned food should be stored in a cool, dry place with a temperature between 50 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Avoid exposure to direct sunlight, as this can cause the food to spoil. It's also best to check the expiration date on the can before storing, as canned food can expire over time. Additionally, it's important to keep cans away from moisture and pests.

Q2: How long can canned food be stored?

A2: Canned food can be stored for up to two years before the quality begins to deteriorate. However, it's important to check the expiration date on the can before storing it, as this can vary depending on the product.

Q3: Is canned food safe to eat after it has been stored for a long period of time?

A3: Canned food can be safe to eat after it has been stored for a long period of time, as long as it has not been exposed to extreme temperatures or moisture. However, it's important to check the expiration date on the can before eating, as the food can spoil over time.

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