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How long can you safely keep canned sauerkraut?
By Glenda Stump from Springfield, VA
Longer than you will live to see. It's "rotten cabbage" to start with! But really, there should be a date on the can (and it is usually a few years).
Is it commercially canned? In metal cans? Sauerkraut is an acidic food which does shorten the shelf life some:
...As far as general rules for shelf lives of common veggies and fruits is concerned, jarred foods keep at least 6 months longer than cans if stored in the dark as well as dry and cool. Glass is inert.
Acid or acidified foods such as sauerkraut, apple sauce, pickled beets, tomatoes, tomato sauces, pineapple and citrus juices, etc. keep the least length of time in cans. They do interact eventually with the metal of the can. They will taste "tinny" and blacken as well.
These are suggested by their mfrs. to be eaten within 18 months of the day packed, that's where the code comes in. Jars of the same product last at least 24 months from date packed. Non-acid foods in cans; corn, green beans, mixed veggies, mushrooms, potatoes, yams, asparagus, carrots, etc. will keep a minimum of 24 months. Beyond these dates, though the food will not have deteriorated beyond eating, there is a steady vitamin loss in percentage points each year for individual veggies and fruits. The percentage varies with the product. But they are still edible. The cooler/darker your storage conditions, the greater the shelf life as a rule and you can push these dates some.
Not as long as I was hoping. I discovered that the acid truly does eat through the can. Had to throw my whole prepared casserole out because I didn't realize the spoilage and discoloration of the inside of the cans until I had it all put together.