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Does Spam Go Bad? All You Need To Know About Its Shelf Life And Expiration

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Spam has become a staple in homes across the country thanks to its versatility and low price point. It might not sound appealing, but being able to turn it into quick meals is enough of a reason to draw people in. especially when you consider its long shelf-life.

It’s the perfect item to add to your collection of tinned goods and is sure to keep you sustained should an emergency arise. No power? No problem, Spam can save the day and keep you and your family well-fed.

But how long does it last for? Does Spam go bad? And what about its shelf life? Can we make Spam last longer? These questions float around and keep you up at night while you debate whether or not Spam should be added to your supply list.

Well, wonder no more! Today we are here with the answers you need. Keep reading to find out if Spam goes bad and everything you need to know about its shelf life and expiration dates.

What Is Spam?

Stack Of Canned Spam

Before we dive in, let’s have a little recap for those in the room that need it. To help us determine how long Spam will last, it’s helpful to consider the ingredients on it too. Spam, as we mentioned, is canned meat, and specifically park with ham meat added to it.

There is also modified potato starch included that binds the ingredients together. Spam also contains sodium nitrate, which acts as a preservative to help it last, along with salt, water, and sugar.

The sodium nitrate works to preserve the flavor and color of the meat, helping it look appealing even after being in the tin for a while. It also stops the meat from going bad by inhibiting the oxidation of the lipids (fats) in the meat. This process also prevents bacteria from forming in the meat, keeping it safe to eat.

The modified potato starch not only binds the ingredients to give you a consistent texture and taste, but it helps protect the meat from extreme changes in temperatures or acidity levels. You can rest assured that should something happen; your Spam should be safe!

Now that we have explored Spam in more detail and cleared up what is in this mystery meat let’s move on and see how long Spam lasts!

How Long Does Spam Last?

All cans of Spam will have a best before date printed on the bottom of the can. Hormel, the makers of Spam, state that the contents should be eaten by the date in the bottom. However, Spam can be eaten after this date.

Instead of viewing the date as a use-by date, consider it a best before date, where food can be eaten after the date stated. Providing that your can of Spam is not bulging and has no dents or punctures, then it should be safe for you to consume.

If you have any doubts, though, be sure to throw away the can and its contents. You don’t want to eat anything that has gone bad, so keep an eye out for smells or color changes, and don’t take any chances!

Spam contains additives and preservatives that help the food last for a long time. It is also packaged at high temperatures helping extend the shelf life. It’s certainly one that can stay safe in your pantry until you need it.

Usually, you can expect a can of Spam to last between two and five years, and that’s plenty of time should the country collapse overnight!

Once a tin is open, it will last in the refrigerator for seven to ten days. Without electricity, you will want to eat the contents once opened to avoid warm temperatures spoiling your Spam.

When it comes to Spam and other canned meats, the best before date usually indicates a product’s time before losing its prime quality, texture, and flavor. Just because the Spam is past its expiration date does not mean it will be rotten or disgusting; it might just not taste or look as good as usual!

Now the information on Hormel, Spam’s manufacturing company’s website, is a little different. It states that you can keep Spam in the refrigerator and consume it within three to five days. Why is this less time than what we said?

Usually, this is to offer a time buffer that can help to avoid customer complaints. While Spam should be safe to eat after this time, you can follow the manufacturer’s guidelines if you have any issues.


Storing Multiple Canned Goods

So how is it best to store your Spam? You will want to keep it in the dark and dry cupboard where the temperature does not exceed 75 degrees Fahrenheit. If you notice any of your cans are leaking, rusted, or dented, then throw them away. Their integrity will be compromised, and they won’t be safe to eat.

When storing open Spam cans, cover them with plastic cling wrap and place them in the fridge. You can also place the Spam in plastic Tupperware containers and keep it refrigerated until you next eat it.

Storing it like this will help keep your Spam as fresh as possible!

Final Thoughts

And there you have it; your Spam can last for as long as five years! Be sure to check the tins regularly to ensure that your Spam has not spoiled, and you are sure to enjoy plenty of Spam filled sandwiches and other delights should we end up in an apocalyptic crisis!