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How Long Will Home Canned Food Last?

April 16, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 197

In my mind there is nothing as satisfying as seeing row upon row of gleaming mason jars filled with home canned food lined neatly on the shelves. It does the heart good. In order for this story to have a happy ending... your family and friends enjoying the fruits of your labour for example... proper storage of the finished, processed bottles is of great importance in preserving home canned food.


The variables that are unfriendly to home canned food are LIGHT, TEMPERATURE and TIME. 60% to 80% of nutrients in food are lost during the canning process alone! So, you need to treat them with respect to keep the remaining nutrients intact. Food remains pretty stable after canning until TIME finally takes its toll and whatever is inside the jar is no longer nutritious. It may look fine, but the nutrition will have dissipated.


Home canned food can last 2 years in perfect conditions. That storage time makes it unsuitable for long-term food storage, but fine for short-term. These conditions are good to keep in mind...

1. Keeping the jars stored in a DARK place. I know it seems a shame to hide all that hard work in a dark room, I feel reluctant to do it myself, but it will stay nutritious longer if you do. My mother-in-law kept her canning in a dark basement wrapped in newspaper!

2. Keep the jars cool, NOT FROZEN, but in a COOL place. The optimum temperature for storage of home canned food is between 50 and 70 degrees F. That's warmer than I always thought. Like my mother-in-law, I keep my canning in the cellar where it's pretty cool. But it can be kept a little warmer and it would still be okay. That's great news for apartment dwellers and others who don't have a basement, isn't it?

3. My resources say it is best to consume home canned food within 1 year if you are able and in less than 2 years if you must. Do not eat home canned food after 2 years. As mentioned before... it may look fine, but the nutrition pretty well be depleted.


It may take a couple of canning seasons to see just how much home canned food your family will consume in a year, but you will soon figure it out, and what you preserve will be just about equal to what you consume. Your canned goods will be used within the right time frame.

Eating within the suggested time - 2 years or less - will ensure that the food preserved inside those lovely, gleaming bottles will be both delicious and nutritious.

For more info on long term food storage please visit

Source: EzineArticles
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