Reviewed by Kathleen Zelman on February 27, 2017
U.S. Department of Agriculture: "Related Topics: Food Safety," "Shelf-Stable Food Safety.", HHS.gov: "How to Eat Healthy.", American Heart Association: "Fresh, Frozen or Canned Fruits and Vegetables: All Can Be Healthy Choices!"
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Is canned food supposed to list an expiration date? Nope, not unless it's baby food or formula. What about sell-by and use-by dates? Most cans list them. Once these days pass, you can usually still eat safely, although your meals taste texture and nutrition quality may become less than ideal over time. So exactly how long is canned food safe to eat?
You can keep canned meat, poultry, and veggies up to five years. Keep tomatoes, pickles, and fruit for up to 1 and 1/2 years. But remember, they'll only stay safe to eat if you store them in a cool, dry place, and make sure the cans haven't gotten damaged or corroded. That's the scoop on canned food safety. Bon appetit.