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Old 02-20-2012, 11:31 AM
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Default Canned food, how long do they last?



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If one were going to start storing canned food, what are the best brands to use and how long will they last before they go bad? Some cans have expriration dates but are they accurate?

Same qeustions for canned meat. I read some of the sticky on canned meat but would like opinions on which ones will last the longest.

Thanks!

MDS


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Old 02-20-2012, 11:36 AM
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I can't answer what brands are the best because I tend to stock based on loss leaders for the week now. I do prefer the name brand of some items but that is based specifically on taste alone, which is very subjective.

However, I can tell you that we regularly eat canned items that are 2 and 3 years outside the expiration date, with no discernable taste, texture or color changes.
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Old 02-20-2012, 11:37 AM
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http://shelflifeadvice.com/all_products
Old 02-20-2012, 11:39 AM
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I have had 3 yr old canned tomatoes when opened be bad, also spagehetti sauce a yr past the BB date was bad, i have had canned pineapple and mandarin oranges burst after a few years. I have had no problems with any other food so far, but I am careful to rotate my food now, and watch for dates on them. canned salmon has a very long shelf life, i bought salmon in 2009 that had BB date of 2014 so thats pretty good. tuna BB dates seem to be in the range of 2-3 yrs. you can keep them after that date, as long as they are not bulging or otherwise leaking, the food should be good for a while after that BB date, but I wont let it go too long. oh yes i had canned chicken breast go bad, but the can itself I think leaked air in cause it was bulging on the top and me being curious, lol, opened it and the liquid squirted all over my kitchen, and the smell was horrible. so i learned my lesson. if its bulging, dont open it just throw it out. lol.
rotate, rotate, rotate! i have heard others also say that pineapple, mandarin oranges, and tomatoes dont last very long. they will be first to go bad.
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Old 02-20-2012, 11:44 AM
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As long as the seal is intact they will not go bad. They recently opened some from right after the civil war, and while the quality had gone downhill, they were not spoiled. I have personally ate C rations from WW2 and I'm still alive!
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Old 02-20-2012, 11:47 AM
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The date on the can is a "best by" date rather than an expiration date. Hormel, Del Monte and a few other canneries, along with the FDA or USDA (forgot which) are on record as saying that canned foods are safe to eat indefinately as long as the can remains safely sealed. The key here is the can remaining safely sealed.

Since the contents are sterile, they can't actually rot or spoil unless bacteria can get inside the can somehow. But as long as the can is sealed, it can't get in.

However, over time, the taste and texture will go downhill. The nutrition does to a certain degree also. But there have been tests posted of 40+ year old canned goods that were still not only safe to eat, but still had a surprising amount of their nutrition left.

Acidic foods are the ones to watch for. The acids can react with the metal and cause pinhole leaks that aren't always noticeable from the outside. We've had a lot of posts about saurkraut and tomato products rotting in the cans. So those foods should be on a short rotation schedule just to be safe.
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Old 02-20-2012, 02:51 PM
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Rotation is your friend, that way you don't have food on your shelves too long.
Old 02-20-2012, 02:53 PM
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I am eating 6 month expired tuna fish for lunch right now.
Old 02-20-2012, 03:00 PM
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any sauce type food will go bad, anything in water will last
Old 02-20-2012, 03:17 PM
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Canned food lasts for years. If you are eating what you prep nothing will be around long enough to go bad.
Old 02-20-2012, 04:21 PM
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Until lids bulge up.

I have eaten five year old cans I left in tool box of my truck and forgot about. They had to be frozen solid many times and got to 100 degrees in that box few times. One bulged. The rest tasted like they just came off the shelf of the store.
Old 02-20-2012, 04:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rextex View Post
As long as the seal is intact they will not go bad. They recently opened some from right after the civil war, and while the quality had gone downhill, they were not spoiled. I have personally ate C rations from WW2 and I'm still alive!
Heck, while in basic in 83, we at vietnam c rats from the late 60's/early 70's, and no one got sick....

recently a 67 yr old tin of lard was opened and tested by the Germans, no issues....
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Old 02-20-2012, 04:34 PM
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In the mid and late 70's we were eating c rats from the 50's. they had unfiltered camel, pall mell cigarettes in them. some of the stuff was gross but no one got sick.
Old 02-20-2012, 04:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rextex View Post
I have personally ate C rations from WW2 and I'm still alive!
I've never ran into anyone that actually ate the Lima Bears w/Ham. Everyone that got that wanted to trade for something else and there were no takers for the trade. That guy always went hungry. In late 60's we always had C-Rats during General Quarters aboard the USS Yorktown.
Old 02-20-2012, 04:43 PM
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I rotate my canned goods every 6 months

Eat one - replace one

Good thing I like Spam and Spaghetti-O's
Old 02-20-2012, 04:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BadgeBunny View Post
I can't answer what brands are the best because I tend to stock based on loss leaders for the week now. I do prefer the name brand of some items but that is based specifically on taste alone, which is very subjective.

However, I can tell you that we regularly eat canned items that are 2 and 3 years outside the expiration date, with no discernable taste, texture or color changes.
Would you please tell my husband this. He thinks I'm poisoning him.

I would add that you can't go much past the expiration date on anything acidic like tomatoes, pineapple, etc but most other things are fine for several years out of date. Condensed milk I'd say only 6 months - 1 year past the date on the can.

Manufacturers add in a lot of leeway for safety margin. Basically, if you are worried about it, a full rapid boil for 10 minutes will kill anything, including botulism. However, if the smell is off when you open it, better toss it than die.
Old 02-20-2012, 05:15 PM
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Yea- the majority of the time if a tin can isn't bulged or dented, the food is still good to eat. It may have lost what nutritional value it had, but it will still be filling. I've seen 5 or 6 year old canned foods still be good to eat.
Old 02-20-2012, 08:25 PM
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Not a canned food, but what about a bag of non fat powdered milk? A friend gave me a huge amount of it, that she wouldn't use. I tried keeping up with using recently outdated ones, but finally gave up. I am thinking of pitching it all, but can't bring myself to do it. They aren't even sealed well, powder seems to fly everywhere.
Old 02-20-2012, 09:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rosebeth View Post
Not a canned food, but what about a bag of non fat powdered milk? A friend gave me a huge amount of it, that she wouldn't use. I tried keeping up with using recently outdated ones, but finally gave up. I am thinking of pitching it all, but can't bring myself to do it. They aren't even sealed well, powder seems to fly everywhere.
They don't last well in the factory bag or box. About a year unopened if I remember right. But if you repackage it into mylar with O2 absorbers, you can get a couple decades out of it. Powdered milk stores very well that way. That's why mylar and O2 absorbers are so popular with us.
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Old 02-20-2012, 09:29 PM
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Unopened and the seal intact...Indefinitely.

The taste, and texture would change slightly but the edibility of the food is good basically forever. It will outlast you to say the least. The greatest harm that can be done to a can of food is a can opener and a fork.
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