I`m really excited that we`ve received a tonne of great questions lately – it makes writing at 5am a whole lot easier when you can start the day with a topic chosen!
Rachelle asked the question above and it`s a great one – it`s also one that`s difficult to answer precisely. There are so many variables to storage and keeping them relatively cool and dark is a key here (ours are on a shelf in the kitchen which does not allow them a piece of sunlight; I`d adore a cellar one day). I am no scientist and like many who write on the topic of preserving, tend to hedge on the side of safety when answering such questions.
I have two rules with safety:
- When in doubt, throw it out
- Ask the pros
The National Center for Home Food Preservation lists several documents which detail shelf life. By clicking through you will find:
- Texas A&M University recommends canned fruit lasts up to one-year
- Kansas State University states it`s one year or longer
thankfully they also provide an overview of storage and keys to spotting spoilage.
I, like many canners, will keep food past the one-year mark. Many of my preserves are planned to last 18-24 months so that I only make certain batches every second year and have a greater variety of preserves in my larder.
I can`t scientifically vouch for it`s safety and would recommend you do your own research before deciding for yourself if this works for you remembering the rules above. I wouldn`t eat our food if I felt it wasn`t safe – but me `feeling`safe is not a firm place for someone else to make a decision that could affect the health of their friends and family. I also keep many other foods past the dates in these lists (i.e. popcorn, ketchup and even milk).
I thought I`d add a poll below – I am hoping people will vote and share it around so we can see what other are doing. It doesn`t prove safety (just look at driving for proof that many do things less than safe while feeling protected) but it could he interesting to see what others are thinking. Note the question isn`t asking how long you presently store your preserves as most will finish eating an entire batch before passing their comfort level. Also feel free to add comments explaining your approach – would love to hear it.