Does Canned Tuna Ever Go Bad? What You Should Know

Canned tuna is an incredibly versatile ingredient. From sandwiches and salads to patties and pasta, you can use canned tuna in various ways. Additionally, it is convenient to store and very useful when you need a quick fix for lunch or dinner.

does canned tuna go bad

Although canned tuna lasts longer than fresh tuna, it does not keep forever.

So, how long will your canned tuna last and when is it best to discard it? Let us find out.

How long does canned tuna stay fresh?

You may have noticed the “use-by” date stamp on canned tuna. Your tuna is guaranteed to stay fresh until this date. It is usually three to five years.

The tuna may be edible even after this time. However, the manufacturer does not guarantee the quality after the expiration date.

Now, proper storage is very important to extend the shelf-life of canned tuna. As with all canned products, you should store your canned tuna away from heat and humidity.

Once you open the can, use the contents quickly as it will spoil quickly. If there are leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator and use them within a week.

How can you tell if canned tuna has gone bad?

As we saw earlier, you may be able to use your canned tuna beyond its expiration date. However, its quality will deteriorate over time.

Exposure to heat and humidity will make canned tuna go bad. Bad tuna is very unhealthy. You can end up with severe food poisoning if you consume it.

But how do you recognize if your tuna has gone bad? Just look out for these tell-tale signs of spoilage.

Dents or leaks in the can: Canned goods stay fresh because the contents are sealed under pressure. However, it will not hold up if the packaging is dented or damaged. Even a small hole will expose the contents to moisture and trigger germ growth. So, if your can is leaking or has dents, simply toss the contents.

Bad odor: Good tuna has a neutral or fishy odor. However, if the contents smell acidic or rotten, the tuna has most likely gone bad. Get rid of it to avoid spoiling your stomach.

Discolored meat: Fresh tuna is pale pink or brown. However, tuna turns dark brown when it becomes old or spoils. Your tuna has gone bad if it develops dark brown or black streaks. Green or yellow patches also indicate spoilage.

Rust on the cans: Metal cans can rust when they are not stored properly. Rust is very dangerous as it creates tiny, microscopic dents that allow moisture and heat to enter a can. It will compromise the quality of the product. So, if your tuna cans have rusted, throw it out.

To wrap it up…

Although canned tuna is delicious and highly nutritious, it can spoil. Bad tuna harbors bacteria and causes highly dangerous digestive problems. So, look out for the tell-tale signs of spoilage and get rid of any canned tuna that may have gone bad.

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