Commercially packaged lard should last for one year in a pantry, according to Still Tasty. Opened or unopened, the shelf life remains the same. Storing lard in a cool, dry environment yields the best results.
One year is a general guideline for storing lard. While lard can change in texture or color after the year has passed, if it has been properly stored, then it is still safe for consumption. Expiration dates listed on the containers are an approximation of how long the lard is usable. A strong smell, discoloration and bad taste indicate that the lard needs to be thrown away. It is also possible to freeze lard.