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Mar 12, 2009 07:24 PM

Emergency anchovy expiration question!

I have an opened can of anchovies packed in olive oil (that I then put in tupperware to make sure the entire fridge doesn't smell like anchovy) in my refrigerator. How long can this stay in my fridge before going bad?


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  1. As long as you make sure that they're well packed in oil and in a tightly sealed container, anchovies will keep just fine for several weeks in the fridge. I buy mine in small glass jars and they last for ages - I just add a little oil if needed to keep them covered.

    If you're having trouble finishing them within that time frame - anchovies on toast with a squeeze of lemon make a great snack.

    2 Replies
    1. re: dxs

      They last a lot longer than that. I've never had to throw out anchovies in oil.

      1. re: dxs

        Keep them covered in olive oil and they will last as long as they smell just like anchovies - a very long time.

          1. re: Sam Fujisaka

            lol! Seems as though they would be like Asian fish sauce; maybe it goes bad, but how would you tell?

          2. I buy those little glass jars of anchovies with maybe 30 or so in there. I keep these in the fridge until I use them up. Might be 6 months or so. They *do not go bad"!

            1 Reply
            1. re: DGresh

              I wonder if they'll find some in the Pyramids with the Pharoahs, like the 3,000 year old honey.

            2. Anchovies in a can, not opened. how long will they be good? Years 5 or more?

              1 Reply
              1. re: Grannytootsie

                I opened a pretty old can recently, and found that while they still smelled and tasted perfectly good, the texture had deteriorated so that they were more anchovy paste than whole fillets. But I was using them in a sauce where they would have dissolved anyway, so I went ahead and all was well (and delicious!).