Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Shelf Life of Canned Goods ~ Think Before You Throw Out


"You can store canned goods for at least one year. After one year, the quality of the food tends to deteriorate. However, experiments have shown that properly canned and stored food may remain safe for consumption, even after 100 years."
~ The Home Preserving Bible by Carole Cancler

Though the nutritional value of your home canned goods may be less after one year, I would hesitate before I threw them out. If you need the jars in order to can more food, then that would make sense. However, if you are simply dumping jar contents because they are over your year mark, you may want to reconsider. These items can still be a blessing as an emergency food storage supply. If anything unfortunate was to happen, you would be praising God for your "old food"! I have personally eaten our plum jam five years later (and lived to type this story) and it still tasted wonderful!

"Properly Canned and Stored Food"

Just keep in mind that this applies to "properly canned and stored food" with updated and tested recipes and canned with the correct and modern processing procedures. In other words, if a recipe says to pressure can, you must pressure can. If your canning cookbook is from the 70's, consider a newer version.

For optimal storage, keep your jars of canned goods, with rings removed (and with jars wiped down with a damp cloth after canning), in a clean, dry and cool location (50-70 degrees is ideal, though not always possible for us). Avoid storing home canned goods in direct sunlight or in areas like a garage where there is extreme temperatures.

"When in Doubt"

When in doubt and in dire straits (like that emergency we spoke about earlier), you can boil all home canned vegetables and meats for 10 minutes (15 minutes if at 5,000 feet above sea level) prior to tasting and consuming. Boil home canned spinach or corn for 20 minutes prior to tasting. According to Carole Cancler who has a BS in food science, if toxin is present in those items, it is readily destroyed by boiling.

"When to Throw It Out"

Do not keep jars that are oozing liquid, with swollen or bulging lids, contents smell "off" or jar contains any fuzzy mold inside/around lids or with the liquid inside the jar showing moving bubbles. Seals should be inverted, strong and in place. Never taste food if jar shows any of these signs of spoilage. Botulism is deadly and can lead to respiratory failure, paralysis or even death. Lastly, remember the golden canning rule, when in doubt, throw it out!




Disclaimer: No guarantee is given that the information provided in this website is correct, complete, and/or up-to-date. I have made my best effort to share safe techniques. I make no promise regarding accuracy, applicability, fitness, or completeness of the contents of this blog. Therefore you are responsible for the results of your efforts. The information contained on this blog is provided for general information and educational purposes only and do not constitute legal or other professional advice on any subject matter. The owner of this blog does not accept any responsibility for any loss which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Thank you for understanding.

15 comments:

  1. Jes,
    Thank you for sharing. I think it's a good idea to be cautious and safe with all home made products.
    -Shiralee.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for sharing here today Shiralee ;)

      Delete
  2. Excellent post, JES. I agree, we should use sensible guidelines to avoid the dangers of spoiled food. Our little farmhouse has a half basement with shelves perfect for storing canned goods, and it's so much fun to pack them with home-canned produce.
    Have a lovely week!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, sensible but not wasteful. I see so many people throwing out good food that it kills the thrifty side of me, and then I see people keeping some food that just freaks me out! :) We need to be wise managers of our resources... But a basement??? I am drooling!!! I would have so much fun with that too!

      Delete
  3. This is good information to know. Thank you for sharing it. I need to browse through your tab on food preservation and pantry storage a little more in depth. We are planting 75 strawberry plants this year and Lord willing, I'll be making jam this summer. :-) Have a blessed day, Heather

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Strawberry is my favorite fruit!!! Hope your garden is bountiful! :)

      Delete
    2. Strawberry is my favourite fruit, too - I absolutely love homemade strawberry preserves on top of oatmeal. This is a habit I picked up when I was a teen missionary in Russia - there they usually top porridge with preserves or jam rather than sugar.

      I am hoping to start a strawberry patch this year too Home Meadows! It's exciting to be sure.

      Delete
  4. I always check the underside of my lids when I pop open a jar. With our size of family, we tend to go through our jars in the first year, but we still have some jams and pickles from previous years.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks for the tips! Being fairly new to canning, it's a question I've always had about how long canned food lasts.
    Haha! We made a TON of pickles last year. It's nice to know I don't have to throw them out. Two people can only eat so many pickles after all.

    -Christina

    ReplyDelete
  6. Great post JES! In fact, I just was going through my inventory of canned jars to see what needed to be used up, in order to make room for a new season of canning coming quickly! I too have heard that you can eat canned food older than 1 year. I didn't know that you could boil meat for 20 minutes to kill any bacteria in it though. That is a good tip to know. Appreciate your sharing of all this information in one great place :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hello Jes, This was really a great tip! I have a lot of older canned goods, meats and jellies anf they are all past the one year mark.I always boil everything before we eat it, except the jellies and chilies. I think the modern pressure canning books are right on!
    Thanks so much! Roxy

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi Jes, this is very insightful. Very useful tips here. thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thank you for this information, Jes. I have wondered about this.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thanks Jes for this great information. Not many people can in Australia and I know people that heard we were canning were concerned for our welfare. I have had no issues with it. Occasionally I get an unsealed jar and I dispose of the contents safely but it is such a blessing in the winter to be able to use our own canned vegetables. Blessings to you and yours Jes.

    ReplyDelete
  11. and thank you for sharing at Good Morning Mondays.

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...