Canned Tomato Sauce

The French scientist Louis Pasteur discovered that bacteria spread diseases and that bacteria could be killed by heat. Today, the process of commercial canning involves heating food quickly at high temperatures to kill any bacteria and enzymes that may be present, and then sealing the products in metal cans to prevent oxygen and new organisms from entering. Steel cans are used and heated at varying temperatures, depending on the acid content of the product within.



Oxford Companion to Food by Alan Davidson, 2006.

University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign Nutrition Study Findings “Food Safety”

Canned Food Alliance interview  “Did You Know? Canned Food Facts”

Canned Tomato Products Shelf Life
Tomato Sauce, opened- -3 days
Tomato Sauce, unopened12-18 months- -
Tomato Pasta Sauce, opened- -3 days
Tomato Pasta Sauce, unopened12-18 months- -
Tomato Based Soup, unopened12-18 months- -
Handling Tips: 
Refrigerate and cover tightly; to avoid metallic taste, transfer foods in cans to glass or plastic storage containers, if kept more than one day.
Do not buy or use any canned product 1) that is dented on the rim or seam or has a deep dent on the side; 2) that is rusty; 3) that is leaking or bulging; 4) that spurts out liquid when opened. (This may be a sign of pathogens that could cause botulism, and one taste could be fatal.) Cans that display none of these characteristics are probably safe to use even after the expiration date, but the quality of the product my have deteriorated.
In general, all high-acid canned products (fruit, tomato products, sauerkraut, and pickled products) should be used within 12-18 months. HIgh-acid canned products kept too long have been known to explode. Low-acid canned foods--such as meats, poultry, and most vegetables--may last 2-5 years.
"Cupboard Storage Chart." K-State Research and Extension n. pag. Web. 23 Dec 2009. <>.

Penn State Cooperative Extension, Northampton County "Food Safety--Is It Still Good To Eat?"

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