Is it safe to store open canned food

How long can you store opened canned food and is it even possible to leave food like that? This affects not only the safety, but also the taste of the product.

You’ve probably done this more than once. We opened cans of tomato paste or took half a can of canned beans, and then covered the container with foil and put it in the refrigerator with the rest of the product. After a few days, this food can smell and look amazing. Is it safe to eat?

Whether it’s tomato paste, canned vegetables, beans or fish, can you store opened canned food? What do experts say about this?

According to the USDA, unused canned goods can be stored in the refrigerator, but there are a few things to keep in mind. In a can, the food will remain safe for 1-5 days. It all depends on what type it is, according to Purdue University . For example, canned fish can only stay open in the refrigerator for 2 days, fruit for 2 to 4 days, and tomato paste for about 5 days. However, experts say that to preserve quality and taste, it is better to place the product in a glass or plastic container and then refrigerate it.

Kelsey Kunik , a registered dietitian and an advisor for the nutrition analysis website Fin vs Fin, says she personally always transfers leftover canned food to a glass jar for storage in the refrigerator or freezer. This will preserve the flavor and texture of the food. Leaving food in an open can will expose the air to the surface of the can and the food, which can alter the flavor of the food.

If you do decide to put an open can in the refrigerator, you should pay attention to the importance of tightly closing the can. Never leave canned food on the shelf without a lid, because the food inside may absorb the smell of other foods or something may fall in there.

The best choice for sealing food is plastic lids or plastic wrap, said Kristen Smith , a dietitian at Piedmont Healthcare in Georgia and a spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Do not try to cover the jar with the original metal lid. It does not create a seal, and you can also cut your fingers on the sharp edges.

Some foods keep better in canning jars than others. For example, according to Kunik, non-acidic foods (spinach, beans, tuna) tend to retain texture and flavor, but acidic foods (eg, tomatoes, tomato paste) change because the acidity quickly absorbs the metallic taste.

Abbas Jahangir

I am a researcher and writer with a background in food and nutritional science. I am the founder of, our reputable online platform offering scientifically-backed articles on health, food, nutrition, kitchen tips, recipes, diet, and fitness. With a commitment to providing accurate and reliable information, we strive to empower our readers to make informed decisions about their health and lifestyle choices. Join us on's journey toward a healthier and happier lifestyle.

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