Recommended Shelf Life

Asked August 22, 2019, 2:54 PM EDT

What's is your recommended shelf life for home canned chicken and beef, plus their associated broth? Thanks! Steve Downs

Polk County Oregon

3 Responses

Hi Steve,

Thanks for contacting Ask an Expert.

If you use an up-to-date tested recipe, follow the directions and processing procedure in a pressure canner, it will be safe. Questions you might want to ask: Was the canner vented for 10 minutes before pressure was built up in the canner? Was the pressure canner large enough to hold 4 quart jars - standing up and with the lid on? There are no safe directions for using an electric pressure cooker/canner for pressure canning, was the proper equipment used? Was an altitude adjustment made, if needed? If a dial gauge pressure canner was used, was the dial gauge tested for accuracy within the past year? If you paused or said yes for any of these steps, do not taste the product. Botulism cannot be seen, smelled or tasted, but to assure safety, boil it for 10 minutes, adding 1 minute for each 1000 feet of altitude over 1000 feet before eating. Boil the jar and any utensils that you may have used that touched the product, too. Wash your hands immediately.

Quality changes can occur with color, texture or nutritive value. Using your products within 5 years will generally assure both quality and safety. As always, if you detect any signs of spoilage, the product should not be eaten.

Thanks, Glenda. We're past the 5 year mark … and I think we followed the proper directions … but if in doubt … ! Thanks again!

Hi Steve,

You may also be interested in our publication, Storing Food for Safety and Quality, PNW 612, that is free online. Scroll to Other Topics Related to Food Preservation link at
It is one of my favorites!

Have a nice day!