Shelf Life Tips
- How long does unopened canned tuna last? The precise answer depends to a large extent on storage conditions - to maximize the shelf life of canned tuna (or tuna sold in vacuum-sealed pouch), store in a cool, dry area.
How long does unopened canned tuna last at room temperature? Properly stored, unopened canned tuna 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 tuna safe to use after the "expiration" date on the can or package? Yes, provided it is properly stored and the can or vacuum-sealed pouch is undamaged - commercially packaged tuna 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 tuna will remain at peak quality.
Storage time shown is for best quality only - after that, the canned tuna'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 tuna is bad or spoiled? The best way is to smell and look at the canned tuna: if the canned tuna develops an off odor, flavor or appearance, or if mold appears, it should be discarded.
Discard all canned tuna from cans or pouches 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