How Long Does Corned Beef Hash Last? | Canned vs. Homemade


Corned Beef Hash on a Plate

Corned beef hash is a popular food both out of the can and when made at home. I have often wondered exactly how long it will last in both the store-bought and homemade versions. So, I did some extensive research, and this is what I learned.

An unopened can of store-bought corned beef hash will last up to 5 years in the pantry. Once opened, it will be best for about 3-4 days in the fridge or up to 3 months in the freezer in a freezer-safe container. Homemade corned beef hash lasts up to 4 days in the refrigerator.

How long corned beef hash lasts:

TypePantry (Unopened)Refrigerator (Opened)Freezer (Opened)
Canned Store-Bought Corned Beef HashUp to 5 Years3-4 DaysUp to 3 Months
Homemade Corned Beef HashUp to 2 hours3-4 DaysUp to 3 Months
Source: USDA

Now, let’s take a closer look at the factors contributing to the shelf life of corned beef hash, how it should be stored, and how to tell if it has gone bad.

How Long Does Canned Corned Beef Hash Last?

Largely contingent on the storage of choosing, canned corned beef hash can last a copious amount of time. In perfect conditions, you are looking at an impressive shelf life of 3-5 plus years.

If opened, however, it’s an entirely different story. Once the seal is broken, and the corned beef hash is exposed to air, the expiration countdown begins immediately. To slow it down, simply store in your fridge to gain around 3-4 days of freshness.

How Long Does Homemade Canned Corned Beef Last?

Homemade corned beef is not much different than the canned beef, except for the preservatives. Like the beef out of the can, you will have approximately 3-4 days to eat refrigerated corned beef once you make it. For additional shelf life, place into your freezer. This method will yield around 2-3 months’ worth of freshness.

After that period, you will no longer have the same texture or taste even though it can last indefinitely if stored at 0° F. The sooner it is consumed, the more enjoyable it will be!

How Long Does Corned Beef Hash Last Unrefrigerated?

Corned beef hash will only last around 1-2 hours at room temperature, especially if exposed to direct sunlight or at high temperatures. Unless you expect to consume the product immediately, it is not a good idea to place and forget. Store in the fridge for use later–don’t risk it going bad!

How Long Is Corned Beef Hash Good for in the Fridge?

The key to freshness when dealing with exposed corned beef hash is continuous and uninterrupted refrigeration. If you continually remove the corned beef hash from the cool temperatures, it will quickly begin to go bad.

Tip: The less often your corned beef hash leaves the fridge, the longer it will last. Avoid unnecessary repeated exposure to room temperatures as it will seriously reduce its shelf life.

Can I Freeze Corned Beef Hash?

If placed into a freezer-safe ziplock bag, it is perfectly safe to store the corned beef hash in the freezer. In fact, this is the preferred method of storage as it gives your corned beef hash about an additional 3-months of freshness. Although safe to consume past the 3-month mark, the fresh taste and texture will slowly be reduced and not as enjoyable.

Tip: If able, keep your corned beef hash frozen at 0° F (and below) for unlimited shelf life.

How to Properly Store Corned Beef Hash

Corned beef hash will last about 3-4 days if stored properly in your fridge. To maintain freshness, keep your excess corned beef hash in an airtight container, like this one that I recommend found on Amazon. Additionally, encase the corned beef hash in plastic wrap.

If possible, store inside an airtight container like the one above–this will keep it as fresh as possible.

How Do You Know If Corned Beef Hash Has Gone Bad?

Some indicators of spoiled corned beef hash include:

  • Discoloration
  • Mold
  • Unpleasant taste
  • Bad smell

If any of these are present, do not consume as it is likely putrid.

Pro Tip: Don’t disregard the look of the can. If you see flaws in the package, it could be a sign of spoilage. The can of corned beef hash should be ideally free of dents, bulges, leaks, and rusting. Do not purchase and look for an undisturbed product.

What Happens If You Eat Bad Corned Beef Hash?

If prepared from an incorrectly stored batch, corned beef hash can lead to food poisoning. To be specific, the Center for Control and Disease Prevention (CDC) defines the particular bacteria as Clostridium Perfringens (C. perfringens). The most common way corned beef hash can lead to food poisoning is if it is left unattended for a prolonged period at room temperature.

Signs of possible food poisoning include stomach cramps and diarrhea. After around 24 hours, the bacteria should leave your system. However, if the symptoms continue, visit the ER for further medical assistance.

Final Thoughts

In summary, corned beef hash has been in the United States since the early 1950s. With a shelf life of about 3-5 years and beyond, it is no surprise this canned meat has maintained its popularity among American kitchens. But beware, once opened, its lifespan will be shortened to a mere 3-4 days.

I hope you have found this article informative.

Thanks for stoppin’ by!

Jelly Grandma

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Main photo courtesy of Ginny and John Woods

Anne James

Hi, I'm Anne but my grandchildren call me Jelly Grandma. I hope your visit here has been a sweet one.

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