What Happens to Refrigerated Canned Food?

By LeafTV Contributor

Many myths surround canned food storage, but if you store unopened cans in a cool, dry environment and treat leftovers from an opened can properly, you're in the clear. One benefit of canned foods is their longevity -- when left unopened they don't spoil like fresh foods. And if you do put them in the refrigerator unopened, nothing bad will happen.

Vegetables in cans
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What Happens If I Refrigerate Canned Food

Canned foods need to be stored in a clean, dry place between 50 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. A refrigerator is colder and may affect the consistency of the food inside the can, but it won't change the food in any other way.

A can with bulges, leaks or dents can't be saved by refrigeration. It's likely the food inside has gone bad or been tainted with bacteria, so toss it.

Once opened, canned food can be stored in the refrigerator for three to four days. Just make sure to first transfer the leftovers to a plastic or glass container with a sealed lid to prevent the food from taking on a tinny taste.

When it comes to freshness, canned food should be used within a year of purchase. Some products, especially non-acidic ones, may last longer but the food's quality and taste can deteriorate. Most importantly, rust on the can or temperatures greater than 100 degrees Fahrenheit can seriously affect the food inside.