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Mentally lost....
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, i looked online and searched the forum a bit, didn't find a definitive anwser on how long emergency rations are edible for after the expiration date? I just wanted to know if they're like canned food that expire but un-opened, don't really ever go bad? Or do you open up a 7 yr old ratio and find some kinda fungus growing inside or foul smell?

Im refering specificly to the packaged stuff like 3600 calorie bars. Thanks
 

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Super Moderator and Walking Methane Refinery
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All expiration dates are extremely conservative to try and take into consideration the worst storage conditions. How much longer the bar rations are edible, I don't know though. Some things like canned goods and MREs are easier to judge because of experience with them. But most of us don't eat many of the bar rations to get an idea of how long past expiration they last.

Personally, since mine are exposed to extreme heat all summer, I replace them when they expire. But I don't have many to replace so there's not much expense in it. If they were more like a food item that I would use in my daily diet, I'd rotate them and consume them. But since they're not, I just toss them out.
 

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Mentally lost....
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809 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yea, First emergancy/rations i've ever bought. For the unit price, dollar per calorie they are pretty cheap IMO, i suppose eating them in 5 yrs and replacing them for 50 bucks wouldn't be that bad, thanks for the helpful response friend!
 

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Super Moderator and Walking Methane Refinery
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Yea, First emergancy/rations i've ever bought. For the unit price, dollar per calorie they are pretty cheap IMO, i suppose eating them in 5 yrs and replacing them for 50 bucks wouldn't be that bad, thanks for the helpful response friend!
Anytime. I wish I could have given more helpful information. That was a very good question. Hopefully someone more knowledgeable will come along.
 

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I threw mine out after ten years. They were the lemon variety and had turned from yellow to light brown. They didn't smell bad or look bad, but the color shift decided the issue.
 

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One always needs to be mindful of botulism concerning canned foods....it's more of a threat to people who can foods at home, but you never know.

As far as eating a very old can of food....

2 years I'd do it.....

5 years....probably if I was hungry enough....

100 years.........hmmmmm.....you first....:D:

here's an article I read awhile back about some really old food....

http://preparedness.families.com/blog/a-surprising-story-of-100-year-old-meat

A Surprising Story of 100-Year-Old Meat

by Marily | More from this Blogger

Still not sure you want to store canned foods for years on your shelves for emergency preparedness? Would you guess that a can of meat could last more than 100 years? Perhaps this story will convince you of the long shelf life of canned foods.

Canned foods were first introduced at the turn of the 19th century. It was a revolutionary concept--to be able to store perishable foods in containers without refrigeration. One of the things that really encouraged their use was the practicality of canned foods in ships for long voyages. In the 1820's Sir William Edward Parry took two voyages to the Northwest Passage. Along with him Parry took some canned foods
. One four-pound can of roasted veal was brought on both ships and recovered as an artifact of the expeditions. It was kept in a museum until 1938 when it was opened and analyzed.

Shocking to all, this meat was found to be still edible! Laboratory tests showed that the meat
still had most of its nutritive qualities and was still of good quality. This meat was fed to a cat which ate it happily and showed no poor side effects after eating it. For the original story, click here.

Does this mean that your canned foods can last 118 years? Probably none of us are brave enough (or will last long enough) to find out. Still, this story proves that canned foods, especially those low in acid like meats, can last long enough to prove very useful for emergency situations.

Make sure to read the previous articles in this series about reading codes on canned foods, determining the shelf-life of your canned foods, and important safety considerations when storing canned foods.
The original article about it...

http://www.cancentral.com/hist_empire.cfm

THE GREAT INTERNATIONAL SEARCH FOR NEW TERRITORY further propelled the use and notoriety of the can. Likewise, the advantages of well preserved canned food enabled bolder expeditions. Explorers in search of the elusive Northwest Passage, such as Otto von Kotzebue of Russia, were quick to benefit. He wrote of a "discovery made lately in England" which he thought "too important not to be made use of," and took some canned meats with him on his voyage in 1815.


Honest Spices Nutmegs, probably c. 1890; Nestle's Milk Food, probably c. 1890;
Windsor Coffee; Borden's Evaporated Milk; Royal Baking Powder, c. 1940; Sauer's Cloves.

Sir William Edward Parry made two arctic expeditions to the Northwest Passage in the 1820's and took canned provisions on his journeys. One four-pound tin of roasted veal, carried on both trips but never opened, was kept as an artifact of the expedition in a museum until it was opened in 1938. The contents, then over one hundred years old, were chemically analyzed and found to have kept most of their nutrients and to be in fairly perfect condition. The veal was fed to a cat, who had no complaints whatsoever.

Swain, Earle and Co. tea.

As cans traveled over land and sea, can making spread as well. In Germany, where tinplate had been invented hundreds of years earlier, tin cans were made by hand by plumbers—artisans who, in those days, worked primarily with lead, zinc, tin and other metals.

The father of the can manufacturing industry in the United States was an Englishman who immigrated to the new country and brought his newfound canning experience with him. Thomas Kensett set up a small canning plant on the New York waterfront in 1812 and began producing America's first hermetically sealed salmon, lobsters, oysters, meats, fruits and vegetables. Kensett began his operation using glass jars but, finding glass expensive, difficult to pack and easily broken, soon switched to tin. He and his father-in-law, Ezra Daggett, were awarded the U. S. patent for preserving food in "vessels of tin" by President James Monroe in 1825.

A competitor, Charles Underwood, set up shop in Boston and preserved fruits, pickles, and condiments in crocks. Underwood was also an Englishman and had landed in New Orleans originally, but found no one there interested in his canning idea. After making his way to Boston on foot, he started his business which shipped its products primarily to South America and the Far East. He too eventually switched to tin.

ETA....I realize after the fact, you were asking....not about cans but calorie bars specifically (it's late, bear with me...)

Personally....I wouldn't trust them....
 

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Super Moderator and Walking Methane Refinery
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One always needs to be mindful of botulism concerning canned foods....it's more of a threat to people who can foods at home, but you never know.

As far as eating a very old can of food....

2 years I'd do it.....

5 years....probably if I was hungry enough....

100 years.........hmmmmm.....you first....:D:
As long as the cans are sealed, the food inside is safe to eat. It might have lost some texture or flavor due to age, but it's edible. Cans don't rust from the inside out, so if it hasn't rusted up on the outside, or been dented on the seam, it would still be sealed. I've eaten canned goods that were 10-15 years out of date. Some were almost like new, and some had aged pretty hard. Some foods fare better than others in long storage.

I'm with you on the really old stuff though. Especially if I don't know how it was stored.
 

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I bought my house and property in 1993 and there was canned fruits and veggies and some canned meat that was dated in the 40s and 50s.I opened some to see what they were like they were all good the fruit was browned because they didn't have citric acid back then or just didn't use it.I personally don;t think home canned food is as muck a risk as store bought food is.There is a chance of botulism in all food but don't eat canned meats and veggies out of the jar cold always cook it first.as said earlier as long as the home canned food is still sealed is is good yet.
 
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