When it comes to stored pantry necessities, canned meat is unbeatable – not only are they inexpensive and simple to prepare, but they’re also a must-have if you’re looking to stock your pantry with non-perishable items with a long shelf life (especially in the case of an emergency). On the other hand, if the back of your pantry is stacked with old cans of soup, green beans, and anything else you bought a long time ago, you might be wondering: How long does canned meat last, and is it safe to eat canned meat past the written expiration date?
What is Canned Meat & It’s Preserved?
Canned meats have been preserved in airtight containers, mostly tin-coated steel cans, to keep contaminants out. The canned meat is pasteurized and sterilized to kill the microorganism that can spoil the meat. Mostly canned meat is sterilized which entails heating the meat at a temperature of 250 degrees Fahrenheit. In addition, sterilisation occurs when canned meat reaches a temperature of 213.8 °F. During the sterilization process, most enzymes are inactive and micro-organisms are killed. You can preserve the canned meat for a long time if it stays sealed. According to the record, canned meat was still in good condition to eat after 114 years. It is the long shelf of canned meat, plus its affordable price and protein content make it the most preferable option for emergency food storage meat.
What Is The Shelf Life of Canned Meat?
Canned meat can keep safe forever. Here are a few recommendations for how long you can store canned survival food before eating it.
- According to the USDA, canned meats can last indefinitely if preserved in good condition. However, this does not guarantee that they will continue to taste great in ten years! There are various factors that affect the shelf life of canned meat, but generally, items that are more acidic will expire sooner whereas low-acid canned foods will keep longer. If you’re curious about the shelf life of specific canned items, here’s how long they’ll last on your shelf and in the refrigerator once you open them.
- Apart from this, manufacturers have their different recommendations which are displayed on the cans like “open by” or “best by” dates. However, in reality, canned meat can maintain its quality level for up to 5 years past dates.
Guidelines to Store Canned Meat Products
There are some guidelines that you have to follow to get the possible shelf life of canned survival food. You can improve the shelf life of canned meat by doing the following things:
- Don’t Expose Meat Cans to Extremely High or Low Temperature: Storing cans at temperatures above 100 degrees Fahrenheit significantly increases the risk of deterioration. Long-term storage of cans at temperatures above 75 degrees Fahrenheit increases the risk of nutritional loss. Temperatures between 55 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit are ideal for storing canned meat.
- Store in Dark, Dry And Cool Place: Avoid areas to store canned meat close to furnaces and stoves, garages or basements. One of the ideal places to store canned meat is the pantry.
Canned meat is the best option for emergencies. You can preserve canned food for an emergency by following the above tips.