Expired Cans Of Food - How Long Does Can Food Last?

Discussion in 'Finding, Identifying, and Preparing Food' started by ziskasun, Jul 4, 2016.

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  1. ziskasun

    ziskasun New Member
      8/23

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    I've been cleaning up my food stores over this long weekend and I found a few cans that expired in December 2015. I usually rotate the cans but these ones were forgotten somehow. The cans look fine, although one was discolored so I threw that one away. What are some guidelines for expiration dates on store bought canned food? I felt like it would be OK if it's expired as long as the cans are not bulging or leaking or something, Does any one else have any suggestions on this topic?
     
  2. tb65

    tb65 Active Member
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    I would just throw them away. If you have enough food that is not expired why even take the risk? The thing about an emergency like a severe storm or hurricane or any thing like that is you might not have emergency assistance if someone gets sick. Rotating your canned goods is a smart idea this gives you a chance to get rid of the expired stuff.
     
  3. ally79

    ally79 Member
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    Commercially canned food does not actually expire with the exception of tomatoes and pineapples. We have been in a rough spot here recently and ate some food that got forgotten in a cabinet from 2005 and everyone is perfectly fine. If it smells fine, looks fine, and tastes fine you are good to go!
     
  4. John Snort

    John Snort Well-Known Member
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    The expiry dates of most canned foods are suggestions — the time by which the food should be eaten. If the expiry date has gone by you could open the can and take a look at it's contents. It's easy to tell if food has gone bad after all. However it might be safer for you not eat canned food for that's gone 5 years past it's sell by or expiry date.
     
  5. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    in normal times you can probably afford to throw it away, but why get into the habit of throwing away perfectly good food because of some date printed on it? that's what "normal" people do not preppers.
    open it up, look at it-does it look alright? okay move on....take a sniff-does it smell alright? okay move on, taste a small piece of it-does it taste alright? okay move on, eat a small corner of it, wait a few hours and see if you get a reaction. if not then its perfectly okay to eat a larger portion of it.
     
    m33kuh and John Snort like this.
  6. Corzhens

    Corzhens Master Survivalist
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    Expiration date of canned goods are guidelines only and not that accurate. In other words, some expired food items can still be eaten. However, I have to admit that we throw away expired canned goods. Some years ago, we gave the expired canned goods to neighbors but my husband was afraid that there might be an incident of poisoning if the expired canned good is really expired and not fit for eating anymore.

    To avoid expired food items, we always adhere to the method of FIFO - first in, first out - in our food cabinet. The old stocks should be placed near the cabinet door and the newly bought should be in the innermost. That saved us from having expired canned goods.
     
  7. gracer

    gracer New Member
      8/23

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    I remember from something I've read before that there's usually a form of leeway or grace period after expiration dates (I'm not so sure but as far as I can remember it's around 60 days after the expiration when it comes to canned goods). The "best before" seal means that the food is best eaten before the stated date but it can still be eaten after the specified date for so long as it passes the 3 essential assessment: look, smell & taste. If food looks and smells odd, you can already skip the last part and just throw it away.
     
  8. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    the dates are usually for the benefit of business, so they don't get sued by the customer.
     
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  9. ziskasun

    ziskasun New Member
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    Thanks for the information here. I suppose we should just eat them now and then replace them to avoid any risk of illness. They expired December 2015, so about 6 months past prime. It is not tomato products, so we should be OK.
     
  10. ally79

    ally79 Member
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    Yep, you should be perfectly fine Ziskasun. Generally the expiration dates are just on there so that the "normal" people will throw it out and buy more, and to keep them protected from lawsuits by consumers.
     
  11. mrfred

    mrfred Member
      13/25

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    The dates on cans and packages are sell by dates. Stores can not sell them past the date. Check the foods at your local food banks; most have expired dates on them. Companies want you to keep buying and not store. That is how they make their money.
     
  12. joegirl

    joegirl Member
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    I read somewhere canned foods are still good for another three to six months after expiration date. But please check the contents thoroughly before consumption.
     
  13. Tom Williams

    Tom Williams Moderator Staff Member
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    If the can is sealed not dented or swelled most times it is fine to eat sell by use by dates are there yes but if it good foever you will not buy more now this is canned goods not ceral or crackers or boxed or package itams
     
  14. Ystranc

    Ystranc Master Survivalist
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    Cans have a slight vaccume, as long as the can maintains this vaccume the seal is good. I can tell if a can is 'blown' by the sound it makes when you open it.
    If you keep cans in a cool, clean, dry place and stack them neatly so you can rotate the old cans to the front of the shelf you'll reduce the chances of ever wasting them.

    Some of the old C rations were sold off by the British government in the mid 1980's. They were all well out of date but many people tried them and found they were still good. So many people used them that they're now rare and collectable.
     
  15. Tom Williams

    Tom Williams Moderator Staff Member
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    C rations we ate in nam wereclearly marked 1946-1952 we lived
     
  16. Ystranc

    Ystranc Master Survivalist
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    Less to do with cancer but diabeties and heart problems from the cumulative effect of too much added salt and sugar are a long term risk.
     
  17. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    if you rotate your cans they should never go overdated.
     
  18. SuperBugMan

    SuperBugMan New Member
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    Rotate your stock into your daily cooking and you wont have to worry about them going bad before you need them.

    However, canned goods don't generally go bad unless they have a compromised container. The canning process kills everything living inside the can. I still wouldn't risk it though, botulism is not something to be messed with. Especially in a survival situation.
     
  19. m33kuh

    m33kuh Active Member
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    What I usually do is if I find expired canned foods, I tend to open it and smell it or taste it. If it smells bad, throw. If it tastes bad but smells good, throw. But if it both smells and tastes good even if it's expired, I will not throw it. Instead I will cook it or boil it and add some spices or whatever I feel like adding.
     
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