Tinned food

Tinned foods are a great addition to your store cupboard. They are affordable, convenient, and have a long shelf life.

Tinned foods can include tinned fruit and vegetables such as peas, beans, sweetcorn and tomatoes, but also tinned meals such as pasta, chilli, soup and curries. Fish like tuna and mackerel, and meat products such as ham and minced beef also often come tinned.

  • Left unopened tinned foods can last for a long time in your cupboard, there is no need to chill or freeze.
  • Tinned foods are easy to add into meals. For example, adding some tinned lentils or tomatoes to your bolognaise sauce.
  • Tinned fruit is a great option for when you don’t have much time to prepare snacks, such as tinned peaches or pineapple with yoghurt. 
  • Tinned tomatoes, beans, sweetcorn and peas are great for stews and sauces. Adding these to any meal with a sauce will make meals go further, and add more vegetables.

Rinsed metal tins are all recyclable so are a more environmentally friendly choice.

Tinned foods can help cut costs

  • Tinned products are often on a multi-buy offer.
  • Tinned foods such as soups, beans and pasta often just require reheating, which can help save energy costs.
  • Supermarket own brands are usually cheaper than the brand names.
  • Fruit and vegetables from tins are an affordable way to help you achieve your recommended five portions a day.
  • You can buy oily fish like mackerel in a tin, which is much cheaper than the fresh version.

Fish tinned in brine will be higher in salt than those in spring water.

Tips for eating tinned food in a healthier way

  • Some tinned foods can be high in fat, salt and sugar. It is important to check the labels to pick the healthier options. More information on checking labels can be found here.
  • Once the tin is opened, draining and rinsing the contents may help lower the sugar and salt content.

Food safety

  • If a tin has been opened, and you are not going to use all of the food straight away, empty it into a separate container. Make sure this container is covered and put it in the fridge.
  • Don't store food in an opened tin can, or re-use empty cans to cook or store food. This is because when a can has been opened and the food is open to the air, the tin from the can might transfer more quickly to the can's contents.
  • This advice doesn't apply to foods sold in cans that have resealable lids, such as golden syrup and cocoa, because these types of food don’t react with the can.

Find more information on safe food storage here.

Making a change

How to make small, manageable changes to what you eat and drink.

Make a change