Food Storage - How long can you keep...


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3-5 years (best quality)



  • How long does unopened canned luncheon meat last? The precise answer depends to a large extent on storage conditions - to maximize the shelf life of canned luncheon meat, store in a cool, dry area.
  • How long does unopened canned luncheon meat last at room temperature? Properly stored, unopened canned luncheon meat will generally stay at best quality for about 3 to 5 years, although it will usually remain safe to use after that.
  • Is unopened canned luncheon meat safe to use after the "expiration" date on the can or package? Yes, provided it is properly stored and the can is undamaged - commercially packaged luncheon 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 canned luncheon meat will remain at peak quality.
  • Storage time shown is for best quality only - after that, the canned luncheon meat's texture, color or flavor may change, but in most cases, it will still be safe to consume if it has been stored properly, the package is undamaged, and there are no signs of spoilage (see below).
  • How can you tell if canned luncheon meat is bad or spoiled? The best way is to smell and look at the canned luncheon meat: if the canned luncheon meat develops an off odor, flavor or appearance, or if mold appears, it should be discarded.
  • Discard all canned luncheon meat from cans or packages that are leaking, rusting, bulging or severely dented.

Sources: For details about data sources used for food storage information, please click here

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