How Long You Can Keep Unopened Canned Veggies Past Their Expiration Date
By Andra Picincu
Unlike fresh veggies, most unopened cans of vegetables can be stored at room temperature, last for five years or longer, and are usually safe to eat past their expiration date.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), "use by" and "best before" dates refer to "quality, not safety." Most canned veggies are safe to eat past the "sell by" date.
Canned veggies past their "use by" label may experience changes in their flavor, color, or texture. Check the cans for damage, which can increase the risk of bacterial contamination.
If their packaging is intact, canned veggies like beans, corn, peas, spinach, stews, and low-acid foods will last for about five years from the date of purchase.
Acidic varieties like rhubarb and sauerkraut are good for two to three years, and highly-acidic vegetables will last 18 months. Home-canned foods will last for up to a year.
To maintain the quality of your canned veggies, keep them in a cool, dry place below 85 degrees Fahrenheit and discard them if you notice any leaks, cracks, or bulges.