Canned goods are a great option for long-term food storage as they are shelf-stable and have a long shelf life. While canned goods are often neglected by preppers due to the weight and bulkier storage, many canned goods can last for years and also allows you to have a supply of meat and fish, something that can get boring quickly if you only prep the dried variety, such as dried beef jerky.
Always check the expiry dates before purchasing, using the date guidelines below as reference. Stores with a lower turnover can have much shorter expiry dates than if you purchase something from a larger retailer with a higher turnover. And just as you would organize your pantry, don’t forget to check the back of the shelf, as stores will place items with longer expiry times as the back, so people purchase the ones that will expire sooner from the front.
If you want to start storing canned goods, here are some canned goods that can last the longest:
- Canned fruits: Canned fruits that are high in acid, such as pineapples, peaches, and pears, can last up to 2-5 years when stored properly.
- Canned vegetables: Canned vegetables that are high in acid, such as tomatoes, can last up to 5 years when stored properly. Low-acid vegetables, such as corn and green beans, can last up to 3-5 years.
- Canned fish: Canned fish, such as tuna, salmon, and sardines, can last up to 3-5 years when stored properly. Make sure to check the expiry date on the can before consuming.
- Canned meat: Canned meats, such as chicken, beef, and pork, can last up to 2-5 years when stored properly. Again, it’s important to check the expiry date on the can before consuming.
- Canned soups and broths: Canned soups and broths can last up to 2-5 years when stored properly. It’s important to check the sodium content and other nutritional information on the label before consuming.
Always check cans you are purchasing for dents. While dents don’t hard most food inside the cans, you don’t want to take the risk, especially for long term storage of them.
It’s important to note that the shelf life of canned goods can vary depending on the quality of the food, how it was processed and stored, and the conditions in which it is kept. It’s important to store canned goods in a cool, dry place, and to check the expiry dates regularly. If the canned goods have an unusual odor, flavor, or appearance, they should not be consumed.