Does canned food go bad in heat?

In this brief guide, we will discuss the following question, “does canned food go bad in heat?” and other queries related to this topic.

Does canned food go bad in heat? 

Yes, canned food goes bad in the heat. High temperatures can facilitate the deterioration, and the spoilage of the product inside the can and thus affecting the food quality by leading to nutrient loss.

Moreover, not only the heat and the high temperatures affect the canned food but also the sunlight. Direct sunlight on canned food, and especially food in clear jars and bottles, can lead to product oxidation, color, smell, and taste alteration.

Furthermore, frozen canned food can be safely used if thawed in the refrigerated overnight. Avoid thawing canned food, or any other product at room temperature because bacteria can multiply at warm temperatures.

In addition to extreme temperatures and light, any damage in the food container like corrosion or lid deterioration can lead to food spoilage. 

Can corrosion is mainly seen in acidic products such as tomato sauce or juices. Also, inappropriate shipping and storage of canned products may lead to caps and lid problems.

Besides good storage of canned foods, any canned food has a stamped expiry date which can be between one to 4 years according to the product. Also, make sure that you are storing the canned food at a temperature below 70 degrees Fahrenheit or around 21 degrees Celsius.

Is it possible to refrigerate canned foods?

Yes, canned food can be refrigerated. However, take into consideration that while refrigerating the food inside the can might expand. 

This expansion can increase the risk of the can’s explosion. Moreover, opened canned food can be refrigerated but put the food in a container appropriate for refrigeration.

Generally, canned food can last for three to four days in the refrigerator once opened. But the time a canned food can sit in the fridge depends on its acidity. 

For example, high acidic foods like pineapples, peaches, and apricots can last for one week in the fridge. Hence, low acidic food such as bananas and blueberries can last for three days only.

Is it safe to freeze canned food?

No, it is preferred to not freeze your canned food. Freezing leads to liquid expansion and explosion of the can which will lead to a mess in your freezer. Also, the can expansion might be a sign of spoilage and botulism which is very harmful if consumed.

Moreover, in case you freeze your canned food make sure to thaw it appropriately by putting it in overnight in the fridge. And once opened, use it immediately.

It is already known that freezing increases the shelf life of the product, however, canned food already has a very long shelf life which is between one to four years.

How to store canned food for the long term?

The best place to store your canned food is in a cool, dry, and dark place like in your pantry. Hence, some canned food needs to be refrigerated so make sure to read the instructions on the food label.

Moreover, there are many places in your house where you should not be storing the canned food such as in any outdoor place, in the garage, in the pantry near the stove, in a cabinet that is exposed to sunlight, or under the sink. 

Furthermore, follow the FEFO method which means “First Expired First Out”, so use first the food that has the least expiry date.

How to identify spoiled canned foods?

Many signs indicate the spoilage of canned food. For example, if the lid of the jar is not very well-sealed and leaky, do not taste the food inside it to make sure that it is spoiled because it might affect your health. In addition, one of the most important signs of spoilage is having a swollen can. 


If not refrigerated, swollen canned food stored at room temperature might indicate the growth of Clostridium botulinum, which is a very harmful bacteria.

Moreover, if once you opened the can or the jar and you found a milky substance on the top, think about discarding the food. Also, any can that has a sign of corrosion or rust should not be used especially if the rust can not be whipped off.

What is botulism?

Botulism is an illness caused by a bacteria called Clostridium botulinum. These bacteria make toxins that if ingested lead to serious illness because they affect the nervous system leading to muscle paralysis, breathing difficulty, and sometimes death. 

Also, these bacteria can develop spores that allow them to survive in extreme temperatures. It is an anaerobic bacteria that can develop in inappropriate stored canned food.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we discussed the following question, “does canned food go bad in heat?” and other queries related to this topic.

References

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.