According to the Food Marketing Institute and Cornell University’s Foodkeeper storage guide, canned food is still fresh for a year after sitting in your pantry. That’s also what the expiration date will likely say.
Some argue that canned food will be fine even after that date, and that canned goods, because they are vacuum sealed to prevent bacterial contamination, don’t need food dating at all. “People have re-open canned goods from l20 years ago and they are fine. Cans that have a date that say a year from now—you could probably have it two years, three years, five years and it will be okay,” says Emily Broad Leib, the director of Harvard Food Law & Policy Clinic.