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Post-dated canned goods?

Discussion in 'Preparedness & Survival' started by MikeE, Dec 10, 2011.

  1. MikeE

    MikeE Portland Well-Known Member

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    Here's a question for greater minds than mine. I'm re-building our pantry, after our move from country to the city last year. What do you suggest is the rule for canned goods that are past expiration dates? Specifically, commercially canned fruit like apple sauce. Likewise, things like olive oil and nuts?
     
  2. knuckle Head

    knuckle Head southeast Well-Known Member

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    I am not expert here by any means, but I do not see how the dates on oil would affect it, if the seal was unbroken and there is nothing floating in it, after all it if going to be brought up high temperature when cooking. I would open each can as you want to use them and check for smell and contents. With nut if they look, smell or are discolored toss them, you may consider taking the items like bad nuts and tossing them out in the country let them rot back into the soil. Nuts will turn rancid after a while.

    I have eaten many items that were out of date, like sealed unopened dressings for salad and soups, i give them the smell, look, content and taste test. with soups and such to be cooked with hey just simmer it a little longer if it passes the other test.
     
  3. jbett98

    jbett98 NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    "When in doubt, throw it out" is the old adage for any food.
    Commercially canned food is generally safe past it's throw date, but it will start to lose color, texture and vitamin potency the longer it stays in the can.

    Years ago in Portland, a guy opened a jar of home canned asparagus. He asked his neighbor that was over for dinner if he thought it was any good. The neighbor touched his little finger in the liquid and touched it to his lips. He had to have a liver transplant. The guy who canned the asparagus took a very small bite of one stalk. He died the next day.
    It looked ok, smelled ok, but he had doubts. It was Botulism.
    Botulism can be prevented by killing the spores by pressure cooking or autoclaving at 121 °C (250 °F) for 3 minutes or providing conditions that prevent the spores from growing. The toxin itself is destroyed by normal cooking processes - that is, boiling for a few minutes.
     
  4. MikeE

    MikeE Portland Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for all replies. Would acidic foods like fruits be safer than canned vegetables?
     
  5. drew

    drew OR Well-Known Member

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    Canned food should be fine after its expiration date if its properly canned. I've had nuts out of a freezer that were over 10 years old.
     
  6. billdeserthills

    billdeserthills Cave Creek, Arizony Well-Known Member

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  7. MikeE

    MikeE Portland Well-Known Member

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    Thank you, very helpful!
     
  8. mrsafeway

    mrsafeway Auburn Member

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    I work at a grocery store...and things that are past pull date aren't going to kill you. They will start to lose quality/consistency as the way they were to be consumed from the manufacturer. Things to watch out for are bottled juices. The shelf life on them really isn't all that great. Fruits tend to break down a lot faster than vegetables. Just be careful, those dates are there for a reason. Im currently running my shelves down in my pantry to get rid of the dates that are coming up soon. The wife and I haven't had to do any serious shopping for about a month and a half, so save some money while you're at it.
     
  9. Decker

    Decker My house Active Member

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    Lesson here. Asparagus is nasty and shouldn't be consumed no matter the situation.

    =)

    -d
     
  10. Both Eyes Open

    Both Eyes Open Hood Canal Active Member

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    If I were in the position of having out of date canned food, I would eat it first and stock up with new stuff. I wouldn't rely on post dated canned goods for a survival situation. You are also much better off with dehydrated/freeze dried food that has been vacuum sealed in mylar bags with oxygen eaters for long term storage. And asparagus is a wonderful food!!! And don't forget... "I cuss, You cuss, We all cuss for Asparagus"!!!!
     
  11. EZLivin

    EZLivin SW of PDX Well-Known Member

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    Stock only what you use, and rotate by using it. If something sits on the shelf past the expiration date then it isn't something you should be stocking anyway. Whether canned goods, dry goods, dehydrated, or freeze dried -- stock what you will routinely use in day to day living.
     
  12. Sabertooth

    Sabertooth Josephine County Active Member

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    Rotate your food stocks. Use them, not through it out. Replace as you use. That way your supplies stay fresh and you don't have to worry about the experation date. But mind the experation date, its there for a reason.
     
  13. MikeE

    MikeE Portland Well-Known Member

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    Thanks so much to all who responded, I'm learnin'.
     
  14. bgdawgrr

    bgdawgrr Washington Member

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    Also, don't get tricked. There is a difference between a "best use by" date and an expiration date. This is a marketing move. If people throw out food/medicine at regular intervals, it helps sales...significantly.
    Example- honey NEVER spoils, yet it has an expiration date?

    Other foods, the storage container loses integrity- eg cans. Soda will eat away the aluminum and give the product a terrible taste (and eat through the can at some point..but it's still "good". If you had a glass bottle of soda, it may last 100 years if the top doesn't pop.

    Now, I wouldn't eat tuna a year after the date, but peaches in a glass jar with the top intact...wouldn't even phase me.

    Drugs may outlast label date

    Good site
    Expiration Dates: Should You Pay Attention? | StillTasty.com - Your Ultimate Shelf Life Guide
     
  15. darkminstrel

    darkminstrel PDX Well-Known Member

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    I use the rule of thumb that oils and nuts not stored in a freezer are only good for 2 years. Did an accidental experiment with peanuts...ugh.
     
  16. billdeserthills

    billdeserthills Cave Creek, Arizony Well-Known Member

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    Actually eating year-old tuna isn't going to be a problem. Just don't eat year-old spagetti sauce.
     
  17. MSneuropil

    MSneuropil Mt. Pilchuck area Washington New Member

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    I don't know if your joking about the spaghetti sauce or not but just wanted to clarify in case some one actually thought year old spaghetti sauce had to be thrown out.

    I've spent most of my 50+ years eating home-made canned tomato sauces and would have no problem eating last years or even 3 years old PRESSURE CANNED sauces IF I canned them myself (I'm extremely clean and detailed with any canning). In fact our pantry/well house cabinets are full of canned tomato sauces and juices that are 3-5 years old at least. (We had a couple of bumper crops years of tomatoes and couldn't possibly eat all we had).

    But I was raised to ALWAYS boil home canned vegetables before tasting. The problem with Tomatoes canned at home the last few decades is the breed of tomatoes available to most home farmers and fruit markets. It is no longer recommended to only water bath tomatoes BECAUSE most on the market tomatoes have been bred to be less acidic. Therefore, they have upgraded the recommendations in most publications to either PRESSURE CAN Tomatoes OR add lemon juice to each jar of tomatoes that are to be water bath (or steam bath) processed. Get you local extension office handouts or get the updated Putting Food By book. Amazon.com: Putting Food By: Fifth Edition (9780452296220): Ruth Hertzberg, Janet Greene, Beatrice Vaughan: Books

    And to add...IF you add mushrooms, meat, etc to any tomato sauce/spaghetti sauces you MUST pressure can at the time indicated for meat products...not the lower time for tomatoes by themselves.

    I would not be afraid to eat commercial processed spaghetti sauces that are tomato based past the expiration date as long as can was intact.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2012
  18. Sasquatchvnv

    Sasquatchvnv Port Orchard Active Member

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    Figered out a neat little trick to extend shelf life almost indefinitely. Take canned goods near expiration, dehydrate and vacuum seal - good for another 30 years or so if stored properly.
     
  19. sadiesassy

    sadiesassy Prescott Active Member

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    Thought that is why you have a system for rotating through the food items to keep them more current?

    How many of us ate the old army rations from WW2 20 years later.
    As long as cans are in good shape and they look and smell ok after opening , and I am cooking the product - I am OK.
    I would also inspect the cans internally after opening.
    Most Jams and sweets are fine.

    Canned meats are where I question a little more. Really inspect the cans and more questionable on the meat texture and smell. I ate some questionable (in retrospect) meat food rations once and was sick for two weeks.
     
  20. billdeserthills

    billdeserthills Cave Creek, Arizony Well-Known Member

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    I have been eating a large amount of expired canned food lately (I should've paid more attention to my pantry) So far the cans I have been eating are chunky soup, chef boyardee, spagetti sauce (which made me sick) chicken, tuna & chicken chili. I recently became lactose intolerant so the chef boyardee cans already were donated to my roomate. I have gotten sick on 2yr old Chunky soup containing tomatoes & the spagetti sauce. All the food is cans or jars and is 1-3 years expired & is all store bought.