Ireland produced a significant portion of corned beef consumed in the British Empire during the early modern period, using cattle reared locally and salt imported from the Iberian Peninsula and southern France. Irish port cities, such as Dublin, Belfast and Cork, became home to large-scale beef curing and packing industries, with Cork alone producing half of Ireland's annual beef exports in 1668. Although the consumption of corned beef carried no significant negative connotations in Europe, in European colonies in the Americas it was frequently looked upon with disdain due to being primarily consumed by poor Whites and Black slaves. American social theorist Jeremy Rifkin noted the sociopolitical effect of corned beef in the British Isles during the early modern period in his 1992 book Beyond Beef: The Rise and Fall of the Cattle Culture:
Corned beef became a less important commodity in the 19th century Atlantic world, due in part to the abolition of slavery. Corned beef production and its canned form remained an important food source during the Second World War. Much of the canned corned beef came from Fray Bentos in Uruguay, with over 16 million cans exported in 1943. Today significant amounts of the global canned corned beef supply comes from South America. Approximately 80% of the global canned corned beef supply originates in Brazil.
In Israel, a canned corned beef called Loof was the traditional field ration of the Israel Defense Forces until the product's discontinuation in 2011. The name Loof derives from "a colloquially corrupt short form of 'meatloaf.'" Loof was developed by the IDF in the late 1940s as a kosher form of bully beef, while similar canned meats had earlier been an important component of relief packages sent to Europe and Palestine by Jewish organizations such as Hadassah.