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You may think that you don’t need to pay attention to your canned food and their shelf life, as they seem to last forever. However, practicing safe canned food storage is essential. Proper food storage helps preserve the quality and nutritional value of the foods you purchase and helps prevent money loss from food spoilage.

We have compiled a list to educate our customers about proper canned food storage. Here are five tips you can use to practice better food storage

Canned Foods DO Have a Shelf Life

In a post-apocalyptic situation, canned food can be the primary way of sustaining life. However, unlike your typical zombie survival tv-show, this is untrue. If not handled properly, canned food can give you food poisoning. 

There’s no magical date for all canned foods that indicates they are no longer safe to eat. But there is one for every can. The appropriate shelf life for canned food products is approximately one year. Once you get past this period or open the can, the food will start to oxidize. 

Bacteria Love Open Cans

If you’ve opened a canned food, you better intend to use it up quickly. Once a canned food product has been exposed to air, bacteria will grow quickly and cause it to spoil, like other food. An can of food that has been opened should be consumed within a couple of days. Anything that you do not use in a can, cannot stay in the can. Any leftovers from canned food products should be stored in air-tight containers at the appropriate temperature (usually stored in a 40 degrees or cooler refrigerator.) 

Temperature is Key

Temperature plays an essential part in the storing of food cans, just like any other food product. When storing canned foods, its best to store them in cool and dark locations like your pantry or cupboard. You should avoid storing them in too hot or cold of temperatures. Keeping canned food over 100 degrees F is exceptionally harmful to the food. The risk of food spoiling increases significantly at these temperatures. Even prolonged exposure to temperatures above 75 degrees F leads to a significant nutrient loss in canned foods. Light can affect canned food in glass jars by causing color changes as well as nutrient loss.

FIFO: “First In First Out”

Rotating cans are a fundamental aspect of efficient food storage. We know that it can be easier to push a can of food further down the depths of your pantry when restocking. However, this often leads to spoilage, higher food cost, waste, and even can become a food safety concern. To avoid this, try to sort your cans from oldest to newest. It’s common sense, but it requires action on your part.

Throw It OUT!

Though the last tip, it should really be the first step to ensuring proper canned food storage. Check the expiration date on the can! Also, you can tell a lot of the condition of the food by just analyzing the condition of the can. Avoid cans with loose or bulging lids, have excessive dents, or are leaking. Throw them out if they don’t look right. It’s not worth the risk.

Now, if you have been struggling to maintain your cans in proper storage, you should get a canned food storage system. You can place them in your pantry, basement, pretty much anywhere that is cool and dark. Check out our website and online store to learn more today!

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