Shelf Life Tips
- How long does unopened shelf-stable canned ham last? The precise answer depends to a large extent on storage conditions - to maximize the shelf life of canned ham, store in a cool, dry area.
How long does unopened canned ham last at room temperature? Properly stored, unopened canned ham that has been sold at room temperature will generally stay at best quality for about 2 years, although it will usually remain safe to use after that.
Is unopened canned ham 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 ham 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 ham will remain at peak quality.
Storage time shown is for best quality only - after that, the canned ham'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 ham is bad or spoiled? The best way is to smell and look at the canned ham: if the canned ham develops an off odor, flavor or appearance, or if mold appears, it should be discarded.
Discard all canned ham from cans or packages that are leaking, rusting, bulging or severely dented.
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Sources: For details about data sources used for food storage information, please click here