FOOD PRESERVERS & SAFETY ADVISORS
Is it dangerous to store leftover canned food in the refrigerator in the metal can it was purchased in? Is this a safe procedure?
No, the food is safe. It might taste rather tinny after awhile, but it is safe.
It is a question of quality and there is loss in quality. Refrigerating food in opened cans often leads to discoloration. You often see this with foods that are fairly acidic--pineapple or tomato products, for example. Off-flavors can occur when oxygen from the air causes the product to react with the metal in the can.
According the United States Department of Agriculture's Meat and Poultry Hotline, the materials used in a particular food can are carefully chosen to withstand the processing that food receives in the plant and to protect it from bacteria, spoilage and loss of moisture and flavor. The can materials are really not designed for refrigerator storage.
It is much better to store opened food in refrigerator containers.
Information developed by Carolyn
Rude, Retired WSU Extension Faculty - Family Living
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