Christeena Haynes, MS, RD, LD, former Nutrition and Health Education Specialist, Dallas County, University of Missouri Extension
Many people have questions about the storage of canned goods and since February is Canned Food Month, now is a good time to address some of the most common questions.
You want to start with a good quality product. If you are purchasing canned goods, choose those that are not rusted, dented, scratched or bulging. Home-canned foods should only be made using research-tested procedures, equipment and recipes from sources such as USDA or University of Missouri Extension.
Store canned goods in a cool, dark, dry area away from furnaces, pipes and other places where temperature changes occur. Store metal cans off of the floor because moisture may lead to rust.
Be sure to label the can with the purchase date or the date it was made. It is recommended that unopened home-canned foods be used within one year. Commercially-canned low-acid foods, like meat and vegetables, should be consumed within 2 to 5 years. High-acid foods, such as tomatoes and fruit, have a shorter shelf life of 12 to 18 months.
Always use the FIFO (first-in, first-out) method when it comes to using foods from storage so that you are sure to use your oldest cans first…
For more information on the nutritional value of canned goods and the best way to select and store them, see the full version of this article at http://missourifamilies.