The Shelf Life of Canned Biscuits: Do They Go Bad?

Do canned cookies go bad?

Canned cookies are a popular and convenient option for those who want to enjoy crisp, light cookies without the hassle of making dough from scratch. However, like any perishable food, canned cookies have a limited shelf life. In this article, we will explore the factors that contribute to the spoilage of canned cookies, the best storage methods to extend their freshness, and common signs of spoilage to look for.

Understanding canned cookies

Canned biscuits refer to pre-made dough that is stored in cylindrical and pressurized cans. These cookies are made with perishable ingredients and are typically refrigerated in stores. While manufacturers add preservatives and stabilizers to extend shelf life, canned cookies are still susceptible to bacterial growth.
The airtight packaging and cold temperature at which they are stored in the can help inhibit the growth of bacteria. However, it’s important to note that canned cookies contain water, flour, and sugar, which provide favorable conditions for bacterial growth. Therefore, proper storage is essential to maintain their freshness and prevent spoilage.

Storage methods for canned cookies

To ensure the longevity of canned cookies, proper storage techniques should be followed. Let’s explore two effective methods: refrigeration and freezing.

Refrigeration Method

If you have opened a can of cookies and want to store the remaining dough, refrigeration is a good option. Follow these steps for optimal storage:

  1. Remove all cookies from the can and discard the packaging.
  2. Take a clean, dry Ziploc bag large enough to hold all of the raw cookie leftovers.
  3. Lay the Ziploc bag flat on a baking sheet and carefully place the remaining cookies in the bag, making sure there is enough room for each cookie.
  4. Press the edges of the bag to release any excess air and seal.
  5. Store the tray of bagged cookies in the refrigerator at 40°F.
  6. Use refrigerated cookies within 3-4 days for best results.

It’s important to note that the maximum storage time for exposed cookies should not exceed one week, especially when using the refrigerated method. Factors such as humidity, exposure time and refrigeration efficiency can affect the quality of the biscuits, making it difficult to guarantee their freshness beyond this timeframe.

Freezing method

Freezing is the most effective way to store both opened and unopened cookie cans. However, it’s important to make sure the can is freezer safe. Follow these steps for successful freezing:

  1. Check the packaging for storage instructions to confirm that the can is suitable for freezing. If not, consider refrigeration as an alternative for unopened cans.
  2. Place a large zip-lock bag on a baking sheet and place all the cookies in the bag as if you were going to bake them.
  3. Place the tray of cookies in the freezer, making sure the tray has enough room to prevent the cookies from shifting or bumping into each other.
  4. Store the cookies at 0°F overnight.
  5. Take the tray out of the freezer, lift the bag, and you have individually frozen, rock-solid pieces of dough.
  6. Stack the cookies on top of each other to save space, using the outside of the bag as a guide. Work quickly to minimize thawing time.
  7. Return cookies to the freezer immediately and continue to freeze at 0°F until expiration date or 1-2 months after opening the container.

The freezing method allows for longer storage, typically up to 1-2 months past the expiration date. However, it is still recommended to consume the cookies before the expiration date for optimal taste and quality.

Signs of spoilage

To ensure food safety and avoid consuming tainted canned cookies, it’s important to know the common signs of spoilage. Here are some indicators that cookies may have gone bad:

1. Black spots or growths

Carefully inspect the raw cookies before baking. If you notice black or green spots on the dough, this indicates mold or bacterial growth. It is critical to discard all cookies if there is any discoloration or dark spots.

2. Crumbly texture

Fresh raw cookie dough should be pliable and soft to the touch. If the stored dough has a crumbly texture, it may be a sign of spoilage. In such cases, it’s best to discard the entire batch of cookies.

3. Slimy or watery layer

Check the surface of the raw cookie dough for excess moisture, slime, or a watery layer. If you notice these signs along with an odor, it indicates that the dough has gone bad. It is advisable to discard the entire batch.
It’s important to note that while these signs may indicate spoilage, it’s always better to err on the side of caution when it comes to food safety. If you have any doubts about the freshness or quality of canned cookies, it is best to throw them away rather than risk consuming tainted food.

Bottom line

In conclusion, canned biscuits have a limited shelf life and may spoil if not stored properly or consumed within the indicated shelf life. While refrigeration and freezing can help extend their freshness, it’s important to follow the recommended guidelines for each storage method.
Refrigeration is suitable for short-term storage of opened cans, but exposed cookies should be used within 3-4 days. Freezing, on the other hand, is the most effective method for both opened and unopened cans and allows for longer storage of up to 1-2 months past the expiration date.
To ensure food safety, it’s important to be aware of common signs of spoilage, such as black spots or growths, a crumbly texture, and a slimy or watery layer. If any of these signs are present, it is advisable to discard the cookies.
Remember, proper storage and timely consumption are key to getting the most out of canned cookies. By following these guidelines, you can get the most out of this convenient and delicious cookie baking option.


How long does a tin of biscuits last?

Canned biscuits can be kept until the expiry date if stored correctly. However, their shelf life can be extended by refrigerating or freezing them.

Can I refrigerate opened tins of biscuits?

Yes, you can refrigerate opened tins of biscuits. Put them in a Ziploc bag, remove excess air and store in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.

Can I freeze canned biscuits?

Yes, you can freeze both opened and unopened tins of biscuits. Make sure the can is freezer safe and follow the freezing method outlined in the article for best results.

How long can I freeze tinned biscuits?

Frozen canned biscuits can be stored for up to 1-2 months after the expiry date. It is recommended to consume them before the expiry date for best taste and quality.

What are the signs of spoilage for canned biscuits?

Signs of spoilage in canned biscuits include black spots or growths on the dough, a crumbly texture and a slimy or watery layer. If any of these signs are present, it is best to throw the biscuits away.

Can I eat canned biscuits after the best before date?

Although tinned biscuits are safe to eat after the expiry date, their quality and taste may be affected. It is advisable to follow the expiry date for the best experience and to ensure food safety.