Canned tuna is made by canning tuna in edible vegetable oils, in brine, in water, or in various sauces. Tuna itself is loaded with high-quality protein and nutrients with almost no fat, therefore, this fish is really good for our health.
However, the main issue that tuna usually encounters is it might contain a certain amount of mercury that can lead to mercury poisoning if we, especially the at-risk group of people doesn’t consume it properly.
Fortunately, canned tuna has less mercury than the fresh one or frozen steaks. But existing as canned food, it will definitely have more or less preservative so you are recommended to eat canned tuna with a sufficient amount and not frequently.
The question comes up to your mind is how to store the leftover tuna and when it will turn bad or spoiled that we need to toss it. In this article, we will provide you with answers to all your concerns.
How long does canned tuna last?
In general, all shelf-stable canned goods have a long life expectancy and the less acidic kind tends to live a bit longer than the acidic one. Specifically, canned tuna if properly stored will stay its best quality for even 3 to 5 years at room temperature, what an amazing number, right?
However, once the can is opened, tuna can only last 3 to 4 days in the fridge and better in a freezer that can extend its shelf life to 3 months after opening. Therefore, just open the can when you are ready to use tuna and it should be treated with more care.
Is it safe to eat canned tuna after the expiration date? In fact, the actual expiration date is not printed on the label, it’s just the best-by date that means the tuna will provide its best quality if being consumed before that date.
After that, it doesn’t mean you have to toss the can right away, it’s still safe for consumption but we are not sure about the flavor of the tuna, there might be a deterioration in appearance, taste, and nutrition, you have to decide on your own then.
How to tell if canned tuna goes bad?
If there is nothing wrong with an unopened can of tuna, then there is no problem with the content inside too. As long as you store the can carefully and correctly, no damage, then you can feel safe about the tuna that it rarely goes bad.
Nevertheless, once there is a sign of damage like denting, rusting, bulging or leaking, discarding the can is the safest option to prevent any health poisoning. This ruin could be the result of storing the can in an improper place such as under the direct sunlight, next to the heat from the oven or stove.
When it comes to the opened canned tuna, once you see any change in its color (from bright red or light pink to dark brown or even green as the presence of mold), in texture, or smell, there might be an indication of spoiled tuna. The oil tends to turn rancid over time if the can is not stored well, and that’s when you should throw the can away.
How to store canned tuna?
As already mentioned, there are three ways that you can store canned tuna: at room temperature, in a fridge, and in a freezer. The pantry is the best place to store unopened canned tuna if it is dry, cool and dark.
Leftover tuna needs to put into the fridge right away to keep it safe if you plan to consume it in the next few days. In case you want to prolong the shelf life of canned tuna to use it later (like 2 or 3 months), freezing will be a better choice. Just make sure that your tuna is always covered fully to avoid absorbing smells from other food in the fridge or freezer.
Can you freeze canned tuna?
Yes, you can freeze canned tuna in the freezer, especially after the can is opened to make it last up to 3 months.
How to freeze canned tuna?
Now you are going to learn how to freeze canned tuna properly in just some simple steps.
Tips to freeze canned tuna
- Leftover tuna needs to transfer to another container to be frozen. Never freeze canned tuna in its original tin can to better safe
- If you store your tuna in a freezer-safe bag, you should flat it from the bottom of the bag so that the tuna can be frozen evenly. And make sure to squeeze out as much air as you can before freezing
Things you’ll need to freeze canned tuna
- An airtight container or a freezer-safe bag
How to freeze canned tuna in just 2 steps
- Transfer the leftover tuna from the original can to an airtight container or a freezer-safe bag
- Label the container or bag with name and storage date then stick to the freezer
How to defrost/ thaw canned tuna?
For the best quality, you should only thaw your frozen canned tuna in a fridge. Just take the container or bag of tuna out of the freezer then transfer to the refrigerator and let it thaw completely. This process might take several hours or if you plan to use the tuna tomorrow morning, you can thaw it overnight.
It is unsafe to defrost canned tuna on your counter since fish is a tricky food and if you don’t cover it tightly, room temperature can cause bacteria growth.