How To Store Canned Food For Long Term?
Canning is a great technique to store food items for later use. This saves food from spoiling and allows you to store seasonal food for longer. Canning can be effectively done at home using water bath canning or pressure canning.
If you are already canning food at home, you will know that canned food can be stored for a long time. However, it primarily depends on the type of food you are canning. The minimum shelf-life of any canned food ranges from 1-2 years. Some foods even keep for 4-5 years or more.
While canned food can be stored for a long time, there are some guidelines that you should follow to keep the food from spoiling. Check out the following points to store canned food:
- For storing the canning jars for longer make sure the canning lids are not prone to rusting. It is better if you use new lids every time you try to can food at home.
- Sometimes, the metal lids might have tiny holes. These will spoil the food by allowing the air to pass through. So make sure you check the sealing multiple times.
- It would be best if you left a headspace in the jars. This is crucial because sometimes highly acidic foods might react chemically with the metal lids.
- Avoid storing the food in warm places. This will alter the taste and texture of the food, and eventually diminish the nutritional value.
Tips To Store Canned Food
Now that you know how to store canned food for longer, check out the following tips for better results:
- Place the filled canning jars in a clean, cool, and dry place that is away from sunlight. Temperature between 50-70 degrees Fahrenheit is suitable.
- If you have too many jars of a particular food item, organize them in such a way that the oldest one is used first. Use one jar at a time.
- Low-acid canned foods, such as meat and seafood should be consumed within three years. The texture might dry out but they will still be safe after three years.
- Foods with high acid levels like pickles and fruits taste best within 2 years of canning. Please consume them within these 2 years.
Note: While the foods can be kept for more than the mentioned period, the quality of the food might degrade a little. The foods will possibly lose moisture and turn dry. However, if they have not spoiled, they are safe for consumption.
How Long The Food Quality Will Be Preserved?
Well, it is said that canned foods can stay for infinity. This may not be completely true, as the food will spoil some day or the other. However, apart from the mentioned ‘best before’ periods, canned foods can stay for years.
As long as the canned food items have not spoiled, they are safe for consumption. The canned food might lose moisture, some amount of texture, flavor, and even a bit of its nutritional value in the long run, but it will be edible.
How To Know If The Food Spoiled Or Not?
Checking if the canned food has spoiled or not is important because you are storing the food for a long time. One of the very first indications of spoiled food is a change in color or the development of mold. They are visible indications of food spoilage.
However, sometimes, the canned food might not show any visible indications even if it was spoiled. What should you do in those cases? How do you know if the food has spoiled or not? Check out the following points to determine food spoilage:
- If you notice a foul odor when you open the canned food, it means it has spoiled and therefore not fit for consumption.
- Jars that have loose or protruding lids will spoil the food as the food has not been sealed properly.
- Severely dented cans, particularly around the bottom seams will lead to food spoilage. Therefore, check for the cans to verify spoiled food.
How To Discard Spoiled Food?
Spoiled food is a major concern of food poisoning, therefore you must discard the spoiled food carefully to avoid any risk of sickness. Check out the following steps to dispose of any spoiled food:
- Put that can of spoiled food in boiling water and make sure it is completely submerged into it. This will detoxify the can.
- Boil the canned food for about 30 minutes to make sure it is detoxified properly. Also, wash your hands thoroughly after touching the cans.
- Turn off the heat after 30 minutes, and let the filled can cool completely. Once this is done, wrap the can with disposables and throw it in the garbage.
Note: You have only detoxified the filled cans to some extent. You will need to throw away the spoiled food with the jars and lids. It will be safe not to reuse the jars as they might decrease the food quality.