I had a couple canned campbell soup items delivered from amazon at 130pm to our door way. It was not brought inside till 730pm. And while it was in the shade the entire 6 hours, it is also about 110f degrees here all afternoon right now. Would this time in the heat have spoiled the contents or made it unsafe to use? The cans felt warm when brought inside though not too hot by that time at least.

3 Answers 3


Conventionally canned food is processed in the factory at (or above) 250 °F / 121 °C to kill Botulism spores, so a brief exposure to 110 °F is immaterial, even if it would not be an ideal temperature for long-term storage. Even high-acid foods that may not be pressure-canned even at factory scale are at least processed at 212 °F / 100 °C


The reason canned foods typically last for years is because the contents are sterile. The cans are heated to a temperature high enough to kill any bacteria, and sealed so that no new bacteria can get in until you open the can - at which point the usual food safety rules about time at dangerous temperatures. With a quick search I found 41F - 135F as the danger zone - basically from the top of normal refrigerator temperature to the bottom of cooking temperature.

So there may, depending on the type of food and how it was processed originally, be some impact on taste/texture due to extended time higher than typical room temperature, that should have no effect on safety.

That's not to say the temperature is the same for everything. If you have something that is vulnerable to bacterial growth (not everything is, which is why we can safely store many non-canned foods between 41F and 135F) then the higher the temperature the bigger the problem. Leave lots of things (e.g., chicken, eggs, milk (unless ultra-pasteurized), lots of other cooked items) sitting out and they will typically go dangerously bad faster at 75F than at 45F and much faster at 110F than at 75F.


Every reference I find states that temperatures over 100F are harmful to canned foods, and the risk of spoilage jumps sharply as the temperature rises. What you might be concerned about are thermophilic (heat triggered) pathogens. The potential for these vary widely by product, so there is no definitive answer here. The higher the temperature, and the longer the time at that temperature, the riskier the outcome. I think the best answer you can get is that there could be a safety risk.

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