Shelf Life Tips
- How long do unopened anchovies last? The precise answer depends to a large extent on storage conditions - to maximize shelf life, store in a cool, dry area.
How long does an unopened can or jar of anchovies last at room temperature? Properly stored, an unopened can or jar of anchovies will generally stay at best quality for 3 to 5 years, although it will usually remain safe to use after that.
Are unopened anchovies safe to use after the expiration date on the package? Yes, provided they are properly stored and the can or bottle is undamaged - commercially packaged anchovies 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 anchovies will remain at peak quality.
Storage time shown is for best quality only - after that, the anchovies' texture, color or flavor may change, but in most cases, they will still be safe to consume if they been stored properly, the can or bottle is undamaged, and there are no signs of spoilage (see below).
Discard all anchovies from cans that are leaking, rusting, bulging or severely dented.
How can you tell if anchovies are bad or spoiled? The best way is to smell and look at the anchovies: if the anchovies develop an off odor, flavor or appearance, or if mold appears, they should be discarded.
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Sources: For details about data sources used for food storage information, please click here