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Old 10-01-2011, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by bigislandhikers View Post
Do the cans interior coating start to break down?

BIH
The coating is an inert epoxy type compound. It's pretty stable. More so than the metal itself at least. This is part of the reason they last longer too. In the old days, acidy foods like tomato products or saurkraut could corrode the can from the inside. Not only making the food taste like metal, but in time making an invisible pinhole that let bacteria in causing spoilage. The coating eliminates that. Or at least reduces the chances.

I still wouldn't plan on canned goods as ultra long term foods. In 20-30 years the taste and texture is going to take a major hit. But luckily they're the easiest of storage foods to rotate and replace.
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Old 08-30-2012, 04:10 PM
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I really have appreciated this thread. I am going to set up my shelves to do the rotating thing better. The first time I just bought a bunch of canned food and put them in three big plastic totes that have tops. Now about ten of the cans have expired dates. But after reading I think I might be OK eating them since they are just a few months beyond the expiration.

One thing that will help is if it is a food that needs to be heating, just heat or boil it extra well. That should kill anything that could possibly be lurking.

Another thing to store is good seasonings. If you have to eat something that seems tasteless, you can poor some seasonings on it and perk it up a bit. Now I need to research seasonings with long shelf life. Salt and sugar and baking soda and vinegar and peroxide are all good things to buy on sale and keep.

Be sure to check out the canned sardines. Some of them have 7 and 8 year shelf lives.
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Old 08-30-2012, 04:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dachsie View Post
Salt and sugar and baking soda and vinegar and peroxide are all good things to buy on sale and keep.

Be sure to check out the canned sardines. Some of them have 7 and 8 year shelf lives.
Commercially canned food stored in a cool dry place will last up to 100 years:

http://www.grandpappy.info/hshelff.htm

and

http://www.hormelfoods.com/faqs.aspx#can4

Buy small cans unless you want to be forced to eat the same thing for days to avoid spoilage due to lack of refregeration.

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Old 08-31-2012, 08:05 AM
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I read somewhere dry Pasta will last 20 years.
Old 08-31-2012, 08:40 AM
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If it hasn't been said I'll say it, if it has you'll get to read it again.

Most cans in supermarkets are not been prepared to preserve food but to be an easy way to pack and transport them. They are still good for many years but unless the content is properly heated lots of nasty stuff can get in. I don't know what it is called in English but canned food that has been manufactured to preserve food and be stored for a long time often has this written on them. I've been taught that bumps on the can reduce the storage time of the content but don't know if this is true or simply something my mother made up to keep me from playing with the cans.

Does anyone know if it enough to stir the content of a can to destroy the botulinum? I have heard that oxygen destroys the botulinum but how much is needed? I would expect cooking the stuff is enough to destroy the botulinum but what about caned fruits?
Old 08-31-2012, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Camel View Post
If it hasn't been said I'll say it, if it has you'll get to read it again.

Most cans in supermarkets are not been prepared to preserve food but to be an easy way to pack and transport them. They are still good for many years but unless the content is properly heated lots of nasty stuff can get in. I don't know what it is called in English but canned food that has been manufactured to preserve food and be stored for a long time often has this written on them. I've been taught that bumps on the can reduce the storage time of the content but don't know if this is true or simply something my mother made up to keep me from playing with the cans.

Does anyone know if it enough to stir the content of a can to destroy the botulinum? I have heard that oxygen destroys the botulinum but how much is needed? I would expect cooking the stuff is enough to destroy the botulinum but what about caned fruits?
The cans are sterile inside. So if they remain sealed, they can't actually rot or spoil, because there is no bacteria inside to cause it. If bacteria does get in, it rots fairly quickly and needs thrown out.

The botulinum toxin is heat sensitive though and will break down and become harmless with a few minutes of simmering. This is a recommended backup safety step for home canned foods. Botulism can't grow in an acidic environment. This is why you can water bath can acidic foods. Most fruits are acidic, so botulism is not a concern with them. O2 does not destroy botulinum. But the bacteria require a low O2, low acid environment to grow.
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Old 08-31-2012, 01:58 PM
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Canned goods last forever if kept from rusting and unpunctured...avoid foods high in acid like chilli, tomato based foods and even some fruit.

But canned tuna, spam, ham, veggies will last forever.

I suggest moving btw...
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Old 08-31-2012, 02:03 PM
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MikeK,

Would you say canned fruit will last as long as canned green beans for example? How about cans of fruit cocktail from Aldi's, I have avoided that because of the possible acid erroding from within. Am I thinking right?
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Old 08-31-2012, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Preacher Man View Post
MikeK,

Would you say canned fruit will last as long as canned green beans for example? How about cans of fruit cocktail from Aldi's, I have avoided that because of the possible acid erroding from within. Am I thinking right?
Acidic foods don't last as long, alright. They'll last past their best by date but how long is a guess. I doubt they will last anywhere near as long as green beans since green beans are non acidic.

The ones I've heard the most about being problematic are high acid foods like saurkraut and some tomato products. But fruits do it too, and they turn mushy too.

Also dairy products don't seem to last well. Not that they corrode the can or spoil. They just turn nasty in the can even though they'd still be safe to consume if you could choke them down.

These types of products need to be on a shorter rotation. Every few years.
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Old 11-18-2012, 09:26 PM
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Default Long shelf life of canned foods

Hello, new to posting here, been reading on this forum awhile though. I though I would add my 2 cents to the supermarket foods long shelf life info. I have been studying this for some time and was not satisified with the relatively short (stated) shelf life of most canned foods. I wanted to be able to store common canned foods as they are much less expensive than most dedicated survival foods. Freeze dried stuff can ruin your bank account overnight. Also I wanted the foods to not only last longer, but still taste and look good. I found ,more or less, that most people seem to feel that the lower the temps you can maintain (above freezing) the longer canned foods will last. However there is not much written anywhere on the internet about exact results of low temp storage of canned foods.

So I decided I would go for it and store canned foods in a converted 25' chest freezer. The freezer is plugged into a digital thermostat setup I put together, no modifications to the freezer. The only changes were that I put redwood lattice cut to size on the bottom and sides in the freezer to keep the cans from touching the sides as when the freezer is running it will freeze the sides for awhile. The lattice on the bottom keeps the cans above any water that has condensed. The freezer sets 2" high in the back and one inch higher on the left side so as to allow all water to collect over the drain plug. A bit of water at first, but if you do not open the unit much, it almost stops forming any moisture.

I would love to hear from anyone with any comments on my setup. As a side note, all like cans set on top of one another, canned beef from the bottom to the top in one area, seems to cut down on "where did I put that stuff" later on. Also I have removed the small panel to the compressor and have a 9" fan that is plugged into the same socket as the freezer and only runs when the freezer is on. Keeps the compressor cool, the short compressor on time of this conversion does not allow a lot of freon cooling to get back to the compressor ( I am a heating/air guy).

My best "guess" is that my cans will still be fairly new tasting etc. for somewhere around 12 to 15 years. As modern freezers are real efficient at refrigerator temperatures, the elect cost to run these will be very low. And if the lights go off, who cares, the cans will keep well for another year or 2 without any elect. I am hoping that someone else has tried this and can comment on something I may not have seen.

Steven

Last edited by Repairman99; 11-18-2012 at 09:30 PM.. Reason: Spelling (slept through 2nd grade)
Old 11-19-2012, 10:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Repairman99 View Post
Hello, new to posting here, been reading on this forum awhile though. I though I would add my 2 cents to the supermarket foods long shelf life info. I have been studying this for some time and was not satisified with the relatively short (stated) shelf life of most canned foods. I wanted to be able to store common canned foods as they are much less expensive than most dedicated survival foods. Freeze dried stuff can ruin your bank account overnight. Also I wanted the foods to not only last longer, but still taste and look good. I found ,more or less, that most people seem to feel that the lower the temps you can maintain (above freezing) the longer canned foods will last. However there is not much written anywhere on the internet about exact results of low temp storage of canned foods.

So I decided I would go for it and store canned foods in a converted 25' chest freezer. The freezer is plugged into a digital thermostat setup I put together, no modifications to the freezer. The only changes were that I put redwood lattice cut to size on the bottom and sides in the freezer to keep the cans from touching the sides as when the freezer is running it will freeze the sides for awhile. The lattice on the bottom keeps the cans above any water that has condensed. The freezer sets 2" high in the back and one inch higher on the left side so as to allow all water to collect over the drain plug. A bit of water at first, but if you do not open the unit much, it almost stops forming any moisture.

I would love to hear from anyone with any comments on my setup. As a side note, all like cans set on top of one another, canned beef from the bottom to the top in one area, seems to cut down on "where did I put that stuff" later on. Also I have removed the small panel to the compressor and have a 9" fan that is plugged into the same socket as the freezer and only runs when the freezer is on. Keeps the compressor cool, the short compressor on time of this conversion does not allow a lot of freon cooling to get back to the compressor ( I am a heating/air guy).

My best "guess" is that my cans will still be fairly new tasting etc. for somewhere around 12 to 15 years. As modern freezers are real efficient at refrigerator temperatures, the elect cost to run these will be very low. And if the lights go off, who cares, the cans will keep well for another year or 2 without any elect. I am hoping that someone else has tried this and can comment on something I may not have seen.

Steven
You must have missed the part where Hormel, Del Monte and a few other canneries, plus the USDA or FDA (forgot which) have all gone on the record as saying that canned good remain safe to eat indefinitely as long as the can remains properly sealed (there are a few exceptions which I'll get to). The taste and texture change slowly over time of course.

They have tested canned foods from the civil war that were still safe to eat. And tests of 40+ year old commercial canned goods showed them in surprisingly good condition with minimal deterioration and surprisingly high levels of nutrients still present.

The date on canned goods is not an expiration date, it's a "best by" date. Many supermarket foods are best used within this date, but canned goods are not among them.

As for exceptions. Acidic foods don't store well in cans. They begin to corrode the can from the inside and can cause pinholes that let bacteria in. We've had a large number of posts from people here who have experienced that with pineapple and other acidy fruits, saurkraut and tomato products.

Dairy products tend to turn nasty tasting over time and their texture changes for the worst. They are probably still safe to eat, but would be disgusting to do so.

From personal experience, I can tell you that 10 year old canned chili tastes exactly like new. Beef stew was pretty close too. Canned tuna had lost texture and became "cat food" like, but would still be fine in recipes. Green beans turned softer, but corn was in like new condition.
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Old 11-19-2012, 10:40 AM
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The following foods are shelf stable (will keep forever plus 15 minutes if stored sensibly-cans not damaged)
1. Green Giant-vegeblend,niblets,white corn,mexicorn,cut green beans.
2. Del Monte cans.
3. Hormel-Spam,Chili,Stagg Chili, Dinty Moore
4. Nalley
5. Bushs' Baked Beans
6. Con Agra Foods-Chef Boyardee

Also-On youtube check out Zombietactics-he has among his many vids a series called Food Preparation For The Lazy Late & Cheap. His #10 in this series shows how to make Knorrs Sides last ALOT longer-very valuable info I think. Keep prepping!
Old 11-19-2012, 03:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Straight Razor View Post
When I was in the army I had C-rations that were 26 years old... the crackers were stale, the rest like regular army chow, bad.
But still, the cans were responsible for more injuries than the food.
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Old 11-19-2012, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by BudgetSurvivalist View Post
Just remember, bulged can = botulism = you die a horrible death, no matter the expy date.
Your nose will also let you know not to eat it.
Old 11-20-2012, 12:26 AM
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MikeK,


I new that older cans were safe, but was figuring that if I stored them around 38 deg the food would retain most of its original color, texture, and taste many years out without having to rotate everything all the time. That is my goal.

I have read lots of posts on several forums but my problem was that I could never find much about the idea I had of storing cans at low temps. Some of the info I have found stated that the shelf life doubles for every 10 deg you lower the temp. so I figured lower temps will help preserve the taste, texture etc.

Everything that has oil in it goes into the freezer, nuts, nido milk in the #10 cans, butter in cans, all oils etc.

All my tomato stuff is in glass jars in the chest refrig. I have not bought any fruits in cans yet, only dried. Not sure what to do with canned fruit, esp after what I have read here about the acids. I was hoping that the 38 deg temps would cause fruits to keep "fresh" longer also, but not sure if low temps will slow the acid eating the cans, prob not.

I have some #10 cans of Bushes beans, and Stagg chili I got a Costco, about $6 each or so, they have a (best buy) 3 year date. I was just going to put them in the closet and leave them there as my Refrig space is limited and mostly for meats and meals in cans. Neither Costco or Sams club have any beef stew, and they stopped carrying the beef in the cans, only chicken, salmon, tunas, and a few of the blended meats.

My plan is to get everything I need to last one year, without ever having to leave the house, after that, well? who knows. I believe to survive REAL BAD times you would need good growing land somewhere secret, unlimited water, (a natural gas well would be nice, and maybe a bunker or two), plus about 10 yrs of supplies to last you while you "get going". Also fruit/nut trees, good animal stock, equipment that does not require energy....etc. All way too much for me to accomplish. I am only short term survival minded I guess. One year should cover 99% of the real world problems that may actually happen. Besides, who really wants to be around if the 1% happens.

Steven
Old 11-22-2012, 04:55 PM
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I may start a new posting on general ideas people have come up with for storing common foods for the longest time, like the refrigerated cans above. A dedicated thread, if I can figure out how to do that. The last time I posted on any forum was maybe 10 years ago. And this makes my 3rd post.
Old 11-27-2012, 04:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Straight Razor View Post
When I was in the army I had C-rations that were 26 years old... the crackers were stale, the rest like regular army chow, bad.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SOD View Post
But still, the cans were responsible for more injuries than the food.
People can make jokes about C-rations all they want. I used to eat those things like there was no tomorrow, because my mom can't cook. Until I was big enough to use the stove, I thought they were the best things in the world. If you get hungry enough, anything nourishing will be wonderful.

It was really rough when dad was sent for his turn in southeast Asia. He froze a lot of French toast for me before going.

I wish I had a storage unit piled to the ceiling with C-rations. And because they had been a good experience for me, I was willing to give MREs a fair try when they became available many years ago. And as a consequence, had the only cub scout who ate a decent meal one day, on the "we're cooking at day-camp today!" (organized by more non-cooking mothers.)

I really did learn to cook in self defense.

Last edited by W.Lynn; 11-27-2012 at 11:19 PM..
Old 11-27-2012, 07:10 PM
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The longest lasting food anywhere would be Honey. No expiration date
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Old 08-06-2013, 09:29 PM
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Default Chest Refrigerator

A quick update to my idea of a chest refrigerator as outlined above, I had trouble keeping the temp stable from the bottom to the top (only 30"), but the temp at the top was up to 12 deg different than the bottom (cold air sinks), so I ended up getting one of those 4" wallmart fans and setting it on the bottom in the middle and pointing it up. I made a "hole" 10" in dia from the bottom to the top. It stays on all the time and keeps the temps even. The whole idea of keeping canned goods around 40 deg was to keep the taste and texture like new for much longer. I don't put things like green beans in there as it would not be worth the elect, but I keep canned meats and other expensive items in it, and I like the idea of "fill it and forget it". I only hope it works, but I think it will.

Steven
Old 08-07-2013, 12:44 AM
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that's an amazing amount of data. i'm curious how long that post took to research and write...
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