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Go Back   BHM Forum > Homesteading > Food

Food Food-related topics that do not have a dedicated board.

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  #1  
Old 09-15-2011, 04:02 AM
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Default Expiration Date on Canned Goods

I have a bunch of canned chicken that expired in May 2011. Still good to eat right? How long before you have to throw out the canned goods?
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Old 09-15-2011, 07:43 AM
NCLee NCLee is offline
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Your chicken is still fine to eat and will be so for quite a while.

With commercially canned foods, the same rules apply that apply to home canned ones. As long as the seal is intact and there are no signs of spoilage, the food is still safe to eat.

With metal cans, usually the first sign is a bulging can. Fruit is prone to this as the acid in the fruit reacts with the metal in the cans. Other signs are leaks, don't hear the seal release (intake of air into the can), excessive foaming, odor not normal for the contents of the can, color change, and mold.

FWIW....

Dates on commercially processed foods, with the exception of baby food aren't regulated. (As I understand it from prior research into this.) Thus, every processor can establish their own "rules" for those dates. Sell By, Use By, Best By don't mean the same thing either. For example, Sell By, is for stores to help keep their stock rotated. Newer Sell By date goes to the back of the shelf with re-stocking the shelves.

IMHO...... (Editorial comment!)

A lot of good, perfectly safe, canned food goes to the landfills because of those dates on cans. They're guidelines that are useful, not iron-clad rules backed by industry wide standards and agreed upon research by 3rd party labs.

Guidelines that are useful, especially for things with a shorter shelf-life. An example is evaporated milk vs canned green beans. Milk just doesn't keep as long without unacceptable changes, even though the milk may still be safe to use.

With canned foods, use your ears, eyes, and nose before you toss the can.

Follow the rule of When In Doubt, Throw It Out after opening a can that you've had for a while. Applies regardless of how "old" or "young" the can of food may be.

In closing, these thoughts are for foods in metal cans and glass jars. Apply to a lesser degree to anything in plastic or paper that has a short shelf life. Exceptions: http://providentliving.org/content/d...4224-1,00.html Edit: Compare the expiration dates on packages of dried pasta to the shelf life of properly stored pasta, as an example.

Enjoy your chicken!

Lee
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Last edited by NCLee; 09-15-2011 at 07:54 AM.
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  #3  
Old 09-15-2011, 12:13 PM
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I know you will get a stinky leaky surprise from a can of sweet sour krout that ends up kind of in the back of the shelf.............

It was about a year out of date.............

Have used stuff that was a couple years out of date. But it was reasonably bland things that you wouldn't think of aggressively attaching the cans........

Always use your nose and caution.

Good luck
Wyo
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Old 09-15-2011, 01:16 PM
mozarkian mozarkian is offline
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As Lee states, as long as the seal and can are in good condition and it looks, smells fine when opened, I count them as good. Like everything else if you have any doubt, be safe and throw it out.
Once when my youngest was recovering from an illness at home -- he was about 14 I think, he decided to "help me" by organizing my pantry. Did a fine job too, he threw away a trashbag full of canned goods that were expired or close to being so. Not wanting hurt his feelings, it was years later that I told him that I fetched that bag back from the trashcans and quietly put those cans back on the shelves a few days later.
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Old 09-16-2011, 03:52 PM
jebrown Male jebrown is offline
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The FDA has a website that covers all aspects of food handling from dates to meat color to refrigeration and freezing.
www.fisis.usda.gov.
Much of wehat they post there can be downloaded in the PDF format.
A very intersting place to look around.

Jerry
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Old 09-19-2011, 10:14 AM
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Thanks for all the info guys. I plan on eating some more today!
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Old 09-26-2011, 01:25 AM
Aseries Aseries is offline
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I just ate a can of expired campbells soup not to long ago, it was over two years expired. The only bad can I have ever seen was leaking black gooo out the sides, and it was tomato paste, it goes bad the fastest. I promptly tossed it, and disinfected everything it came in contact with.

I agree with most, smell, look, and taste, if the cans not buldging then no worries. I also dont buy cans that are dented around the rim, the side no biggy its just a side not the seal. Problem only try not to get the cashier not to smash everything, bruise your apples and squash your bread etc. When they go crazy tossing stuff I tell the cashiers hey you mind being careful I'm buying that...

I have lots of cans, when they are one sale I buy canned goods, makes lazy days easier.. lol

thanks
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Old 09-26-2011, 08:49 AM
NCLee NCLee is offline
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That's another of my gripes, too. Makes me mad to find dents in cans after I get home. If they are dented on the shelf, they stay there.

Tip: Ask that the bread be put in paper bags. Makes a big different in keeping the bread from being mangled before it gets to the kitchen.

FWIW, I was asked the shelf life of canned soda the other day. Response was "about a year". Didn't think much about it at the time.

Today, I have to find the time to sit down with that person and talk about "shelf life". Several hundred cans of donated soda are going to be given away within a couple of weeks, because a few of the dates are expiring shortly before the next fund raising event for our church building fund. Some of those soda's have a mid 2012 best-by dates.

Lee
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Old 10-24-2011, 10:35 PM
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I get most of my canned goods from a church food pantry and the majority of them are well before the date on the cans. As someone else said "When in doubt, throw it out". Also make sure you use the FIFO method in your pantry, in other words, first in first out, as in food service. When purchasing canned goods for food storage see if you can find a date on the can and buy the one dated far off. I'm not beyond digging on a shelf, no matter what I'm looking for to get one with a really far ahead date. I'm also not beyond checking things at the back of the shelf for coupons on the item. If it's something I'm going to buy a lot of I will take extra coupons, though not all of them. I too found a can of tomato paste that was black and icky on the seam side, I tossed it and felt no loss for the simple fact I don't use tomato paste anyway.
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