Never buy cans that are dented, cracked, bulging or rusted.
Always store canned goods in a cool, dry place. Unopened canned foods will keep for years, but their shelf life is related to their acid content. High-acid canned foods like tomatoes, grapefruit and pineapple may be stored on the pantry shelf for 12 to 18 months. Low-acid foods like meat, poultry, fish and most vegetables will keep for two to five years as long as the can is in good condition.