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canned food expiration date

Discussion in 'Preparedness & Survival' started by thefrontsight, Oct 6, 2013.

  1. thefrontsight

    thefrontsight Clark county washington Member

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    Does anyone know what the actual life expectancy of canned food is? Yes it has an expiration date but ........
     
  2. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    to broad of a question. A canned Chicken is going to go bad before a canned loaf of rye bread. A can of Green beans is going to turn quicker then Peaches.
     
  3. John H

    John H Whatcom County Well-Known Member

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    Most can food will last long beyond the date.
     
  4. Riot

    Riot Benton County, Washington Well-Known Member

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    Two years from the date it's canned is the rule of thumb...most dates on cans are "best by" dates, not necessarily expiration dates.

    Expiration Dates on Canned Foods | Livestrong


    Still, most canned foods can still be eaten past two years. Check the seals, buldging, leaking or (when you open it) hissing.
     
    NONAME762 likes this.
  5. peetar

    peetar Kitsap County Active Member

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    Yes, canned foods can be eaten years and years past the expire date in most cases. They are good indefinitely. The only caveat to that is whether the can has retained its' structural integrity or not. They may not taste very good after a long stretch but we are talking post SHTF and dire situations here.

    If the can is structurally intact you are safe. If you pop the seal and hear nothing, let it be and do not eat it. If the can has lost its' vacuum seal you can visually see that. The ends will no longer be concave )(
    They will bulge out or become convex () and will have dark stains on the label where the can has leaked some of its' contents.
     
  6. avmath

    avmath Los Angles, CA New Member

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    What's the deal with the expiration date on packaged food? It may not be what you believe. Here's the lowdown, with an eye toward saving you cash.
     
  7. erudne

    erudne The Pie Matrix PPL Say Sleeping W/Your Rifle Is A bad Thing? Bronze Supporter

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  8. ZA_Survivalist

    ZA_Survivalist Oregon AK's all day.

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    The experation date is the product quality standards. Honestly, they only require a date by law but canned food can be good for a LONG time.

    My Grandfather and Aunt worked in that field. She sure schooled me.

    The things Id be worried about are canned foods with little to no salt or sugar.
    Micro air leaks can allow just enough air to find its way into canned food.. With this trace ements of some nasty bacteria have room to grow.

    Sugar is a natural preservative.
    A jar of jelly can actually be kept and eaten for a LONG time. Given you dont mix the mold into the rest of the jar, but simply scrape it off the top.

    Lonng story short, most canned food can be eaten far far far past its experation date given:
    Mirco air leaks have t allowed oxegen to seep in.
    Its got enough of a preservative in it to stop the rapid growth of bacteria.. Shes been in the business for decades.
    I have no reason to doubt her.
    I would say cook the said can of food via fire/heat and obviously avoid any swollen or leaking cans (duh). But the rest could be ingested without harm far from the experation date. However botulinum does not swell a can but will leave a creamy streak in it.. Nasty stuff, but it isnt heat stable.

    All viruses and bacteria need water to thrive. Its the essance of life.
    Not all need oxygen, like botulinum.

    So dried food is a good bet but requires water to be digested/processed over enough time.

    A good start is to look up what bacteria can commonly grow in canned food, then look for the signs and treatment/prevention. Thats really all one would have to worry about. The date is mearly a novelty when it comes down to it.
     
    peetar and Sgt Nambu like this.
  9. Fin and Feather Guns

    Fin and Feather Guns Ridgefield Member

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    Eatin 10yr old Jelly from Grandmas house..not as good as fresh,mad the sugars had started to crystallize, however, it was fine!
     
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  10. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    Years ago there was a story about the EMTs going to a house and finding the guy dead in his easy chair,he had been eating home made pickles.
    They figured they'd try them out.
    Then when the second crew got there 1 of the guys was going to try a pickle,till the other 1 told him that's probably what killed the guy and the first 2 EMTs
    Watch for the bulge on the top:rolleyes:
     
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  11. Fin and Feather Guns

    Fin and Feather Guns Ridgefield Member

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    Me and Brian Williams were the two EMTs that died..

    image.jpg
     
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  12. erudne

    erudne The Pie Matrix PPL Say Sleeping W/Your Rifle Is A bad Thing? Bronze Supporter

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    In my experience I have found that the plastic lining on the inside of today's cans is usually the first thing to fail which allows corrosion or electrolysis to start between the food acids and the metal can. this can result in a micro hole that allows air/bacteria into the can. It is normally quite easy to spot a bad can once you open it, food spoilage may appear slight but the can interior will be dark or rusty:confused:
     
  13. NONAME762

    NONAME762 Nowheresville Active Member

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    I routinely eat canned goods that are well past their 'use by this date'. As others mentioned watch out for the bowed out ends along with 'it looks like rust or degradation' or leakage.

    I have some MREs from 1994-95 that are still as good :Das they were when new. Some of my old MREs are not nearly as nasty as the foofoo flavors of the new MREs.:eek: