Here's How Long Canned Tuna Actually Lasts

Canned tuna is a pantry staple, creating delicious, nutritious, affordable, light meals when you're in a pinch. Tuna is a common ingredient in salads, sandwiches, and pastas, and even as a pizza topping but is also enjoyed by its plain ol' self or dressed up with oils and spices for a convenient, flavorful snack. Eating canned tuna provides our bodies and brains with a slew of valuable vitamins and minerals, including high contents of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, plus vitamin D, selenium, and iodine (via Healthline). Tuna is also low in both fat and calories, making it an ideal protein-packed food for consumers who desire to eat well on a budget.

One of the best things about canned tuna — in addition to its culinary versatility, inexpensive price tag, and health benefits — is its impressively long shelf life. If you currently have a can of tuna or two in your kitchen, there's a solid chance the expiration date printed on the can isn't for several years. So, just how long can you safely store canned tuna?

Canned tuna lasts an average of four years

According to About Seafood, an unopened can of tuna typically boasts a shelf life of four years. This, of course, depends on the proper conditions in which the tuna is stored. It's highly recommended to store canned tuna in a dry pantry and make sure the can remains completely sealed and doesn't endure any sort of damage such as dents or punctures in the packaging.

But what about after the can of tuna is opened? Can it be safely salvaged? suggests keeping any leftover canned tuna in the refrigerator for no more than three days. Be sure to tightly cover the can or bowl with a sheet of aluminum foil or plastic wrap for extra protection from airborne germs in your fridge. Tuna can also be securely wrapped and frozen for a few months before consumption. Canned tuna is an excellent, economic grocery item to stock up on. Not only is it a quick and simple fare, but it can also prevent you from overusing the excuse, "I have nothing to eat at home."