How Long Does Shelf-Stable Canned Crab Meat Last Once Opened?


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3-4 days
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3 months


Shelf Life Tips

  • How long does a can of crab meat last once opened? The precise answer depends to a large extent on storage conditions - keep opened crab meat refrigerated and tightly covered.
  • To maximize the shelf life of canned crab meat after opening, refrigerate in a covered glass or plastic container.
  • How long does opened canned crab meat last in the refrigerator? Crab meat that has been continuously refrigerated will keep for about 3 to 4 days.
  • Is canned crab meat safe to use after the "expiration" date on the package? Yes, provided it has been stored properly, the package is undamaged, and there are no signs of spoilage (see below) - commercially packaged crab meat will typically carry a "Best By," "Best if Used By," "Best Before", or "Best When Used By" date but this is not a safety date, it is the manufacturer's estimate of how long the crab meat will remain at peak quality.
  • To further extend the shelf life of opened canned crab meat, freeze it: to freeze canned crab meat, place inside covered airtight containers or heavy-duty freezer bags.
  • How long does canned crab meat last in the freezer? Properly stored, it will maintain best quality for about 3 months, but will remain safe beyond that time.
  • The freezer time shown is for best quality only – canned crab meat that has been kept constantly frozen at 0°F will keep safe indefinitely.
  • How long does canned crab meat last after being frozen and thawed? Canned crab meat that has been defrosted in the fridge can be kept for an additional 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator before using; crab meat that was thawed in the microwave or in cold water should be used immediately.
  • How can you tell if opened canned crab meat is bad or spoiled? The best way is to smell and look at the crab meat: if the crab meat develops an off odor, flavor or appearance, or if mold appears, it should be discarded.
  • Discard all crab meat from cans or packages that are leaking, rusting, bulging or severely dented.

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