How long do canned items last?

Asked September 25, 2013, 4:16 PM EDT

Hi there, How many months can each of these home canned items be stored for before they must be eaten? Many thanks. lg

Multnomah County Oregon

1 Response

Hello and thank you for submitting your question to Ask an Expert!

If all of your home-canned food items were processed correctly (according to USDA instructions for canning) then they will be safe to eat for several years. However, the quality of home canned food items will start to deteriorate after one year. You may notice changes in the color or texture of the foods over time. How quickly this happens depends on where your canned foods are stored. For best quality, try to store your canned foods in a cool, dark, dry location.

Please refer to these resources to double check that your canned foods were actually processed correctly.

OSU Extension Service Food Preservation Publications:

National Center for Home Food Preservation:

And, remember that old saying, "when in doubt, throw it out!" Here are the recommendations for storing home canned foods and discarding suspicious or spoiled foods:

Good luck!