Shelf life of home canned goods

ilene_poconos(6)September 29, 2007

We find that we still have some canned tomatoes and pickles left from 2004 and 2005. I started to toss them out and decided to ask the forum what your opinions are on the shelf life of home canned goods.

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readinglady(z8 OR)

Any product that was properly canned using safe-tested recipes (i.e. Ball, Bernardin, NCHFP) and appropriately stored continues to be safe almost indefinitely.

So the only real issue is loss of quality. Pickles, for instance, soften over time.

As long as the product tastes good and the texture is pleasing to you, consume in comfort.

Carol

    Bookmark   September 29, 2007 at 2:15PM
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shirleywny5(5)

Carol, I agree with all you said.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2007 at 2:38PM
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ilene_poconos(6)

We did use Ball recipes so I'm sure we're ok. We always used everything rather quickly except for the last two years. As my children have grown up and moved out, we suddenly found ourselves with more left over each year. Thanks for the info!

    Bookmark   September 29, 2007 at 2:49PM
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msafirstein(Northern Illinois/Z5)

WOW....I thought home canned goods were only safe 1 year and should be disposed of after expiration.

Michelle

    Bookmark   September 29, 2007 at 6:10PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

My moms green tomato picililli was well past 25 years old and still had flavor, although it was very mushy.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2007 at 7:30PM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

No, if it's safe when it's processed, barring seal failure (due to factors like storing in the garage with significant temperature fluctuations) it stays safe.

Canned goods from the Civil War have been tested and still don't have significant bacterial loads. In other words, they could be consumed (though they aren't very appealing).

A lot of canners preserve on a two-year rather than a one-year cycle because it's more efficient, and that's fine.

Carol

    Bookmark   September 29, 2007 at 7:37PM
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belindach(9A)

Are home canned goods safer than store bought assuming home is done correctly? Does home last longer because that is what it sounds like?

    Bookmark   September 30, 2007 at 9:54AM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Most commecially canned items are in metal cans. These do break down and can rust or have leakage issues after a few years. The safety comes from the method and required ingredients used for todays home canning. Without following most of these guidelines, you could risk safety, but because the home canning seems to go the extra measure, its fairly safe and stable, provided you have done things the right way.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2007 at 10:56AM
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virginia_dickman_yahoo_com

Thanks for all the great info on here! VERY helpful information and exactly what I was looking for!

    Bookmark   September 15, 2011 at 9:45AM
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