What Canned Goods Have the Longest Shelf-Life?

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What Canned Goods Have the Longest Shelf-Life?


When it comes to building up a stockpile, we usually rotate out products in order to consume them before they expire.  While this is a good habit to develop, and the best thing to do under normal circumstances, rotating and replacing items may not be easy during a SHTF situation.  This is why it’s important to remember to stock up on items that can hold up for years in storage as well.  Let’s take a look at a few examples of canned goods that should be part of any stockpile because they have a long shelf life.

Canned Meats


Believe it or not, many canned meat products can last for years if they are processed-properly and stored in quality packaging.  Items like SPAM, tuna, salmon, chicken and ham are all excellent choices to consider, and they can make for some fast and easy meal options.  While some of these meats may not be the healthiest options, the stuff you get from the store will generally last longer than what you process at home.  Consequently, don’t think twice about stocking up on a variety of canned meats.  You’ll get a lot more value for your money over time, and you’ll also have some added security knowing that your supplies are safe. 

Canned Vegetables


Canned vegetables are some of the most-stable and pure foods that you can add to your stockpile, and many products can also last for years in storage.  Most don’t have sugar or a lot of additives, and people continually say that the products are still good long after the sell-by-date expires.  The trick to building up a good stockpile is to choose vegetables that are highly-nutritious.  You also want as much variety as possible in order to give you a balanced diet.  We’re not saying to avoid minimally-nutritious vegetables such as corn.  Rather, make sure that the bulk of your stockpile is full of things like spinach, beans, beets, tomatoes and carrots.

Sealed Dry Goods

As a general rule of thumb, store-bought dry goods that have been vacuum-sealed, and don’t contain sugar, can last for years as well.  Oatmeal, rice, pasta mixes, some pancake batter and similar items are excellent and inexpensive options.  Again, make sure the bulk of the products that you have are as nutritious as possible, but make sure to incorporate some tasty treats that can be enjoyed from time to time as well.


Condiments can generally hold up for years as well, particularly if they don’t contain a lot of sugar.  Coffee grounds that have been vacuum-sealed can also last for years, along with cocoa, baking powder, cornstarch and shortening.  The important thing is to try to buy small bottles or cans unless you know that you will go through them within a few days of opening.  This will help you to minimize waste as most items will start to spoil soon after coming into contact with oxygen.

All of us should get into the habit of building up a minimal supply of these resilient foods, just in case we need them during a prolonged-crisis.  Even if you have survival foods and MREs, or you dehydrate or vacuum-seal your own foods, consider reinforcing your stockpile with some tried-and-true canned and packaged goods.  Doing so will enhance your food-security while helping to ensure that you are getting adequate nutrition following a SHTF scenario.