Give me an “anti-crisis” cache of stew and pasta!

That is magic wand for any hungry person when lunch is not prepared or there is no money for special delights?

That's right - stew. It’s tasty, fast, budget-friendly and, most importantly, healthy. The main thing is to pay attention to the expiration date of the stew and, in general, to what is written on the can in order to avoid unpleasant surprises.

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Many people will answer - it’s a stew, even if you keep it for decades, nothing will happen to it ! If only they knew how many optimists paid with their lives for their illiteracy.

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What does the product contain?

You should start with what product we are talking about.

If you mean a healthy meat product , which everyone has become accustomed to since Soviet times, then it includes exactly what is reflected in the name - stewed pork or stewed beef.

The ingredients are written on them: stewed meat (depending on the animal), spices, salt. “Stew” is a common name and has no place on the label of the main strategic food reserve.

But if the label says “stew” in various variations (for example, Stewed original, Stewed Glavprodukt, Stewed Special Homemade), this means that you have something surrogate, trying to pass for the original and leaving much to be desired .

The composition of such canned food may include chemical components, various E, stabilizers, etc., identical to natural ones.

How long can stew be stored?

Stew is always a lifesaver on those days when there is no time to prepare dinner or there is no desire to master culinary delights. Stew is, first of all, tasty, economical and healthy. If you buy ready-made products, you should first pay attention to the date of its manufacture and its composition indicated on the packaging.

Today, on store shelves there is a large selection of stewed meat from various manufacturers, so when talking about the composition of the product, it is worth understanding that it may differ. Soviet stew consisted only of natural meat and spices. The packaging clearly stated - pork or beef stew, salt, pepper. The name “Stew” came from the people and meant that there was only stewed meat in the jar, if a “diluted” name is found on modern products (for example, “Original Stew”, “Homemade Stew”, etc.). It is worth understanding that the product is a surrogate and they are trying to pass it off as the original. These canned foods may contain preservatives, stabilizers and various chemical additives.

It has long been believed that stewed meat can be stored for many years. And, in principle, this is all true if the product is natural and not a surrogate. The shelf life of canned stew depends on several factors:

  • packaging tightness;
  • no damage to the container;
  • storage location and conditions;
  • container material.

What does it depend on?

It is generally accepted that stew remains suitable for consumption for years and even decades . In general, this is, of course, true - and only if we mean a real product, and not a surrogate. In fact, the “life” of canned food depends on a number of factors:

  • degree of tightness of the container;
  • presence of damage to the packaging;
  • temperature regime;
  • packaging material.

There is a popular opinion among people that, taking into account all the analogues that have filled the shelves, it is better to choose stew in a glass jar.

At least everything is visible there. This is not without common sense, but it should be remembered that these are the canned foods that are stored the least.

The ideal option is a sealed tin can.

Depends on the container

The shelf life of stew directly depends not only on the place in which the products are stored, but also on the packaging material. The stew is stored in a glass jar for about three years. A suitable place is the refrigerator. With its help you can protect the stew from any light. Can also be placed in the cellar. The shelf life of homemade stew in a glass jar is 24-36 months.

Right now you can go to the grocery store and find the product in plastic containers on the shelves. They are called retort packaging. This is a modern replacement for tin cans. The advantage of such packaging is practicality and ease of transportation. There are also disadvantages: the maximum shelf life of the meat product is noticeably reduced. The shelf life in plastic containers is only 24 months.

What do GOSTs say?

Everyone has heard in one way or another that you need to choose a quality product according to GOST . Of course, this is true, but people do not always think about what is behind this serious word - GOST.

Some even believe that this is something like a name - and fall for cheap surrogates . Cunning manufacturers have long learned to play on the lack of education of the population and often put some Soviet GOST, for example 1979, on the label.

The canned food is called “Stewed meat GOST”, but not everyone even thinks about what the Soviet state standard does on a modern label.

Real “strategic” meat always has GOST 32125-2013 and is called “Canned meat”.

This is followed by an indication of the composition - the actual meat from farm animals, spices, salt, sometimes water - this is not a departure from technology.

There are no artificial substitutes , ingredients identical to natural ones and stabilizers there and cannot be.

Recommendations for storing fresh and frozen fish can be found on our website.

How to choose a quality one?

As already mentioned, if you want to buy canned food that will save you and your family from starvation during the Third World War, pay attention to the composition and compliance with GOST .

If you have a product made according to specifications (technical specifications), it is a surrogate.

Although this is also a guarantee, such products may include trimmings, sinews, cartilage , and so on, but at least it is meat. The worst thing is when there is neither GOST, nor even a link to TU.

The manufacturer also matters. It is better to trust Belarusian companies and large Russian concerns.

The text on the label should be clearly readable and not blurred, especially when it comes to deadlines. Ideally, the dates are laser marked or stamped on the lid of the container.

Take special care with homemade preparations . They can only be placed on the table if you made them yourself. Packaging of high-quality canned food should be tin or glass.

You can find out which stew is better to choose in the store from the video:

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Long-term storage of stew

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• The product's name. For real stew, GOST stipulates the names “stewed beef” and “stewed pork,” but not “beef stew” or “pork stew.” The last two options, as well as all kinds of “home-style meat”, “special stew” or “tourist’s breakfast”, indicate the great initiative of the manufacturer. At the very least, such products definitely have little in common with what was supposed to be kept in state reserves in the event of a third world war.

• Manufacturer. Large meat processing plants (from among the former state-owned ones), as a rule, are preferable to small ones. While their product may not always be what you want, they at least make the contents of the can more consistent and more often than not what it says on the label.

• Label. Printing on tin is a rather complex technology, available, as a rule, only in old state-owned meat processing plants. This to some extent guarantees against obvious counterfeiting and forgery, which can be practiced by small fly-by-night companies. If the label is paper, it must be rolled with glue along its entire length.

• Place of manufacture. For factories located in peripheral regions of Russia with developed livestock farming (Orenburg region, Buryatia), it is often cheaper to put real meat in cans than to carry out petty scams with soybeans. The same applies to factories in some CIS countries (Belarus, Ukraine, Kazakhstan).

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• GOST indication on the label is a positive sign. For “stewed beef” GOST has the number 5284-84; in accordance with it, for example, the product must consist of pieces of meat weighing at least 30 g each. For “stewed pork” and other products, the GOST numbers are different. Contains large pieces of natural fibrous meat, bay leaf, pepper, and salt. There are first and highest grades. Shelf life is from three to six years. It’s worse if TU is indicated instead of GOST - this is a less strict specification. The composition of the stew according to the specifications, in addition to trimmings, includes collagen-containing substances: ground veins, skins, cartilage, connective tissue. The shelf life of such stew does not exceed two years. The worst option is that there are no GOSTs or technical specifications, i.e. the manufacturer knowingly admits that its product does not meet any standards.

• Protein, fat and calorie content. In high-quality beef stew, the proportion of protein and fat is 16-17 g per 100 g, calorie content is about 220 kcal/100 g. Pork stew, with the same amount of protein, contains more fat and calories. For other products, the protein content is no more than 10-12%, and the fat content is 1.5-4 times higher. At the same time, fatty stew has a higher energy value (up to 330-350 kcal/100 g), which in this case is also not in its favor.

•The presence of the Rosstandart badge indicates the manufacturer’s intention to at least depict the product’s compliance with state standards. Canned meat, primarily stewed meat, is a strategic product and is stocked on a state scale in case of war and disasters. Canned food for the State Reserve is produced only according to the State Standard. By the end of the expiration date (by the way, it necessarily has some “reserve” beyond the specified date - several days or even weeks), the stew is “thrown away” into the retail chain. It is easy to recognize such canned food on the shelves - their jars are oiled.

• The combination of all the above characteristics. Only by this can one judge the product. For example, just mentioning a trusted manufacturer does not guarantee anything, because Quite often, competitors resort to outright fraud, releasing obviously low-quality counterfeit stew, and in extremely similar packaging!

• The product's name. For real stew, GOST stipulates the names “stewed beef” and “stewed pork,” but not “beef stew” or “pork stew.” The last two options, as well as all kinds of “home-style meat”, “special stew” or “tourist’s breakfast”, indicate the great initiative of the manufacturer. At the very least, such products definitely have little in common with what was supposed to be kept in state reserves in the event of a third world war.

How to properly store homemade?

Everything here will depend on compliance with technology and storage rules.

The container must be sterilized for at least two hours at 200 degrees Celsius.

Only after this can you pack meat into it. a fat layer on top , which does not allow air to pass through, serve a good purpose here

If the owner observes all safety measures and adheres to the cooking technology, and also stores the product in a dry place where the temperature does not rise above 20 degrees , strategic canned food is stored for the same amount of time as those prepared in industrial conditions. However, in practice this rarely happens.

It is best to consume your own canned food within the first two years after it is closed. And never experiment with other people's preparations!

What is the shelf life of stewed meat?

Stew in a jar is a very original product. You can always buy it in the store, take it with you on hikes, have a long shelf life, and, after all, it is real meat. According to GOST, such contents are stored in a bank for up to 5 years.

Manufacturers often set a deadline of 2-3 years. But a good product lasts much longer. If you see that the jar is swollen, then such food is unsuitable for consumption.

Meat can be stored in iron packaging for at least three years. The role is played by the material and how the edges are sealed. If the seam is welded, then the meat is good for even longer.

If the jar is open, then you need to eat the product within two to three days. Unsealed packaging does not allow the product to be stored for a long time.

The period during which army stew meat can be consumed is no more than five years, despite the fact that many soldiers say that in the field they ate the product after twenty years of storage.

How can you tell if canned food has gone bad?

First of all, this is indicated by the past shelf life. So, if you look at the container and see that, alas, you are already too late to enjoy it, do not experiment under any circumstances .

Any canned food, even in its normal form, can hide botulism toxin . And under no circumstances buy stewed meat second-hand, even if it seems to you that these people are “trusted.”

You don’t know where exactly the jars were stored, whether there is dampness there, what temperature fluctuations, and in general, whether the owner bothered to sterilize the containers and whether they took the required time.

Other signs that the product is spoiled include swelling and signs of corrosion .

If you choose a stew on the supermarket counter, it is better to choose one that does not contain dents, cracks or other irregularities on the container.

Moreover, do not take one that has noticeable traces of rust.

So, contrary to the popular belief that now everything is according to specifications, real stew still exists . It is only important to pay attention when choosing, know what the references to the standard mean and never expect anything special from a cheap product.

Find out what happens to stewed meat during long-term storage from this video:

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In the recent past, stew was distinguished by good taste, as it was produced on the basis of natural meat .

Nowadays, finding a high-quality product similar to the Soviet one is a very difficult task.

But it is the quality of raw meat and the technologies involved in production that play a decisive role in determining the shelf life of the product.

Dear readers! Our articles talk about typical ways to resolve legal issues. If you want to find out how to solve your particular problem, call the free consultation numbers:

Can stewed meat expire?

In the recent past, stew was distinguished by good taste, as it was produced on the basis of natural meat .

Nowadays, finding a high-quality product similar to the Soviet one is a very difficult task.

But it is the quality of raw meat and the technologies involved in production that play a decisive role in determining the shelf life of the product.

Dear readers! Our articles talk about typical ways to resolve legal issues. If you want to find out how to solve your particular problem, call the free consultation numbers:

Interesting: How long does olive oil last in a tin?

Stew quality and terms according to GOST

Unscrupulous manufacturers have learned to use various tricks , including those with GOST standards.

To reduce the likelihood of getting caught in a trick, you should know and remember that high-quality meat of this product should only have GOST 32125-2013 and the name “Canned meat” .

The composition must include animal meat (raised in agriculture) with the addition of salt and spices; water may also be present.

It is unacceptable to contain any substitutes of non-natural origin, stabilizers and other discoveries of modern chemistry.

If you are dealing with canned food made according to specifications (technical specifications), this is a surrogate that may contain meat trimmings with cartilage and sinews, etc. True, this is better than a situation where there is minimal information about the product, and there are no references to GOST and TU at all.

When purchasing stewed meat, it is better to give preference to a well-known large manufacturer , Russian or Belarusian. It is better to immediately discard homemade preparations or consume them only if prepared independently.

Can it be stored at room temperature and for how long?

The refrigerator allows you to store an unopened metal jar for up to five years, and a glass jar for up to three.

An open jar should be consumed within a maximum of three days .

in the freezer by first transferring it into a hermetically sealed container.

In this case, safety is guaranteed for up to two months.

You can also freeze the original package of stewed meat, however, in order to avoid changes in the consumer qualities of the product (primarily taste), it is better to limit the duration of such storage to a maximum of three years .

You can also store it at room temperature, but provided that it is protected from sunlight and the indoor temperature does not exceed +25°C .

If these conditions are met, then it is possible to store a metal can (unopened) for up to five years , and a glass can for up to three.

In this article you will find information about the optimal conditions for storing fish.

How can you tell if a product is spoiled?

The main danger lies in hidden botulism toxins that may be present in canned foods.

In this regard, the best solution would be to refrain from consuming an expired product and categorically refuse to buy it secondhand.

The most likely signs of damage are swelling of the can and the presence of traces of corrosion on it.

We should not forget that stew in an open jar spoils quite quickly . If it is not possible to consume the entire portion of stew on time, it makes sense to store the leftovers in the freezer.

If the stew was purchased with its expiration date already expired, which is quite rare, Art. 18 of the Law “On Protection of Consumer Rights” allows you to return a low-quality product back to the store .

Depending on conditions

In a refrigerator

The refrigerator is the optimal place for storage after opening. Low temperatures (+2+4°C) reduce the risk of developing bacterial flora and ensure preservation of the nutritional value of the product for 2-3 days.

In the freezer

If you enjoy your favorite dish, but can’t finish the whole jar, it’s quite possible to freeze the uneaten portion. To do this, transfer the contents into an airtight container or vacuum bag, label it and put it in the freezer for no more than 60 days. If desired, unopened packaging of factory-produced meat products can be frozen. Store at sub-zero temperatures for no more than 2 years, since taste and consistency deteriorate over time.

At room temperature

Since canned stew does not require a particularly harsh temperature regime to maintain its consumer properties (usually from 0 to +25 degrees), it is quite possible to place stocks at room temperature. Shelves in a kitchen cabinet or pantry are ideal. This way the product will last until the expiration date.

What determines the shelf life of canned food?

If the stewed meat is real, unprocessed, and without various chemical additives, then, in fact, such a product can be stored for longer than five years. But let’s designate what affects the shelf life:

  • how airtight the container is;
  • is there any damage to the packaging;
  • storage temperature (recommended from 0 to +25 degrees) and humidity (the humidity level should be as low as possible so that the metal does not rust);
  • the material from which the packaging is made.

It is generally accepted that stew is best stored in glass jars. The only explanation could be that the contents of such a jar can be seen. But it would be correct to say that meat has the longest shelf life in sealed tin packaging.

Depending on packaging


The duration of savings in a metal (iron, tin, aluminum) jar is 4-5 years. The quality and type of metal used and the method of sealing the edges are of great importance. The weld seam helps to preserve the product the longest.


In accordance with GOST and sanitary standards, products in glass containers must be consumed within 3 years. The optimal place to place canned food is the refrigerator door, since it is necessary to protect the stewed beef from direct sunlight.

Plastic (retort bags)

Recently, you can find stewed meat on store shelves in plastic bags - retort packaging. It is an alternative to cans and consists of a multilayer film. The undoubted advantage is lightness and flexibility. But at the same time, the shelf life of canned food packaged in this way is much lower than in tin containers, and is 24 months.

Canned food storage

The shelf life of canned food, depending on its type, can reach several years.
At the same time, the shelf life indicated by the manufacturer usually does not represent the period of time during which canned food is guaranteed to be edible, but the period of time that the packaging is guaranteed to be safe: it is metal and therefore susceptible to corrosion. But when opened, the shelf life of canned food is significantly shorter, and canned vegetables are stored somewhat longer than meat and fish. So, after opening the package, the contents of the can must be stored only in the refrigerator, and it must be consumed within 2-3 days. In order to ensure the safety of the contents at least during this time, you should transfer the canned products into a glass container and close it tightly with a lid.

By type


The suitability of a home-cooked dish is influenced by factors such as the type, quality, type of meat used, recipe, and conditions of detention. If you use first-class raw materials, natural preservatives, and carefully sterilize glass containers, then the stew will last from a year to 2-3 years. These homemade supplies should be placed in a dark and cool place, such as a basement or cellar. To prolong storage, it is worth pouring fat on top of the contents of the jar, leaving no room for oxygen to penetrate, and only then roll up the lid. A small container with a volume of 250-500 ml is suitable for rolling.


The quality of canned stewed meat produced for the needs of the Russian army and military is carefully monitored by a special commission. At the same time, strategic reserves of army provisions must have the longest shelf life in warehouses, which is usually 5 years or more.

From rabbit

Reliable data on the shelf life of rabbit stew can always be found on the label. The average is 3 years.

From poultry

Most often, the product is made from chicken with the addition of carrots, bay leaves, salt and ground pepper. Must be consumed within 2.5-3 years from the production date.

From pork

Due to the high fat content in the raw material, a pork product retains its nutritional properties for up to 3 years. Moreover, if the products were made from cheap raw materials, with the addition of offal and frozen pressed meat, soybeans, then the terms are reduced to 2 years.


Beef stew can be stored for 5 years if all storage conditions are met and high-quality tin containers are used.

How long can stew be stored?

As a rule, manufacturers set the shelf life of stewed meat at 2-3 years, depending on the packaging material and the composition of the product. The maximum shelf life of canned meat is 4 years. Also, the shelf life may decrease or increase depending on the quality of packaging and storage conditions. The long shelf life can be negatively affected by the premature formation of defects or corrosion on the packaging, which is why, in order to extend the shelf life of canned food, it is necessary to prevent the occurrence of corrosion.

Stew shelf life depending on conditions

High-quality stew, consisting only of meat, without the addition of preservatives, can be stored for quite a long time - even up to 10-15 years . Only such high terms are possible only if the following rules are observed:

Compliance with temperature conditions during storage. The optimal temperature for storing this meat product is from 0 to +25°C. To increase the shelf life, the stew can be stored in colder conditions. In this case, the shelf life will be 3-6 years .

Maintaining optimal humidity in the storage area. In conditions of high humidity, corrosion can form on metal cans of stew. And if the cans are kept in highly humid conditions for a long time, their seal may be compromised. When stored in this way, a characteristic coating and rusty spots form on the jars. It is better to refrain from purchasing products with such signs, since they may contain substances released during corrosion processes.

Absolutely sealed packaging. Factories for the production of stewed meat, operating since the last century, mainly produce products in cans with a design applied directly to the can. The product in such packaging guarantees a shelf life of at least three years. Also, the stew in such jars will most likely be of the highest quality, since applying paint directly to metal is used only at large manufacturing plants that value their reputation. Small firms cannot afford such equipment due to its high price. Therefore, labeled jars are likely to contain a lot of soy rather than meat.

Packaging integrity. The shelf life of stew directly depends on the appearance of the jar in which it was stored. The jar should be free of external damage, dark spots, and deposits. The label has a clear design and clear letters, without damage. If there is damage or corrosion stains on the surface of the can, it means the product was stored in unsatisfactory conditions and its use may be dangerous. This product is not worth purchasing. And if you store canned food with similar symptoms at home, we recommend disposing of such products.

Shelf life of stew depending on packaging

Currently, the stew is produced in glass, tin and aluminum cans, and each package has its own expiration date. The most optimal containers for storing canned meat are tin cans, since they have a much longer shelf life and are better protected from external influences. However, you can't see what's inside in the store. In this regard, glass containers are more convenient, since when purchasing, you can immediately evaluate the components of the jar and choose the best one from them.

The shelf life of canned meat is regulated by GOST 32125-2020 “Canned meat. Stewed meat. Technical conditions". Based on this, the shelf life of the product is as follows:

Type of container in which canned food is produced

Expiration date, year

Hot tinning tin cans of class I and II with welded seam

Hot tinning tin cans of class I and II with soldered seam

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Cans made of electrolytic tinning tin of class II, III and DIII with a welded seam, with a two-layer coating of the inner surface with protein-resistant enamel

Cans made of electrolytic tinning tin of class II, III and DIII with a soldered seam, with a two-layer coating of the inner surface with protein-resistant enamel

Cans made of electrolytic tinning tin of class II, III and DIII with a welded and soldered seam with a varnish coating of the inner surface

Solid cans made of electrolytic tinning tin of class II, III and DIII with varnish coating or two-layer coating of the inner surface with protein-resistant enamel

Type of container in which canned food is produced

Is it possible to use expired

From a theoretical point of view, canned products can retain their nutritional value beyond the expiration date specified by the manufacturer. There is often information about state reserve reserves actually stored in permafrost conditions for 10 years or more. Of course, during military operations and emergencies, properly stored expired stew without signs of spoilage can be eaten. To reduce the risk of intoxication, such a dish must be thoroughly cooked. But in peacetime, you should not eat a product that has expired several years ago: it is safer and easier to buy a new can of fresh stew in the store.

Signs of delay

In order to avoid poisoning and indigestion, you need to know the main, most obvious signs of expired products. These include:

  • Violation of the seal of the packaging, its damage, crumpling. The presence of dark spots and plaque.
  • Visible corrosion processes on metal containers.
  • Bloating of the jar (or lid).
  • The presence of an unpleasant, pungent odor, changes in color of both the canned meat itself (for example, acquiring a greenish tint) and added fat (instead of white - bright yellow).
  • A poorly made label (unclear design, font, lack of mandatory information) indicates possible falsification and non-compliance with the conditions recommended by the manufacturer.

Recommendations and lifehacks

How to renew

Unfortunately, metal cans become susceptible to various environmental factors over time. Fluctuations in temperature, humidity, and the presence of sunlight have a detrimental effect on the shelf life of the product. To achieve maximum deadlines, you can resort to the following recommendations:

  • Periodically inspect supplies for corrosion.
  • If the slightest pockets of rust are detected, the surface must be thoroughly sanded.
  • Before long-term storage, it would be a good idea to check the jars for leaks by placing them in water for a while. If it is broken, it is better to discard the product.
  • After checking, wipe the container dry with a rag and coat with a thick layer of Litol-24 or Solidol.
  • You can wrap each jar in a separate sheet of parchment to protect it from dust and drying of the grease.
  • Place in the recommended temperature regime (relative humidity level no more than 75%, t from 0 to +20°C), excluding exposure to sunlight.

Where is the date of manufacture?

Information about expiration dates is written both on the top of the jar itself and can be written on the label.

Composition of army stew

Beef stew. This product is in the IRP under numbers 1 and 5.

You can buy army stew in lamister packaging, 250 grams.

The product is completely natural, does not contain flavors, artificial preservatives, stabilizers, thickeners, or flavor enhancers.

The composition contains only the following ingredients:

  • Beef;
  • Fat;
  • Salt;
  • Black pepper;
  • Bay leaf.

The mass fraction of fat does not exceed 17%.

The stew is stored in an airtight container at temperatures up to +20°C and relative humidity no more than 75% for up to 36 months from the date of manufacture.

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