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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Isn't it hypothetically a permenant method of preservation? Are expiration dates just for liability purposes or will food actually go bad? I've heard stories about opening up cans from 80+ years ago that is still edible.

Stories? Comments? :rain

Thanks people
 

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Nope, canned food both home canned and store bought DO go bad and can be deadly.
Botulism can form in metal cans that are dented or bent as well as in glass jars. I
don't feel like researching but home canned isn't supposed to be kept more than a
few years (2-3 I think). Store bought might last a little longer but take it from
someone whose mom had a nice Y2K shelter...rust will get some no matter how
dry you store them and the rest will swell after 3-5 years. I'm sure there's lea
way in those numbers...it's a crap shoot. Even frozen food continues to deteriorate
although at a VERY slow rate.
Anything sealed 80 years ago...was probably sealed with lead or some alloy that would
taint the food in it...I guess it COULD be safe to eat. I wouldn't risk it.
Rotate you canned food often.

Edit: I did go look and found anything from 2 years to "forever". But they also said
there's considerable loss of taste and it depends on the food that was canned. Supposedly
SPAM can last forever...but you know...Spam taste like crap when it's brand new...
who could tell a difference after a few hundred years.
 

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I'm still working my way through cans that were bought in 1999 (Before Y2K didn't happen). Most of the cans had an expiry date of 2001-2002.

The canned meats and fish are as good (or bad) as they were at the time of purchase. This includes Spam, corned Beef, canned Ham, Sardines, tuna, mackerell, etc...

Tinned vegetables and fruit such as peaches don't taste the same as they would have done in 1999, but they are still safe to eat. Also items like tinned custard and rice pudding have changed in flavour but are still safe to eat.

I have no way of knowing how much nutrition has been lost to the passing of time but I would expect that the vitamin content would be somewhat less.

Based on this unscientific test I would say that the majority of your long term tinned food supplies should be in the form of meats and protein based foods, and that any tinned fruits and vegetables should be rotated more frequently. My policy now is to keep a months worth of tinned fruit/ veg, and have enough cash available to make large purchases of these items if the situation degenerates to the point where supplies seem threatened.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
My grandmother used to can everything - from veggies to sausage. In that family (lots of kids and grandkids) things didn't typically have a chance to last very long anyway :) but I can always remember mawmaw saying that she would not eat anything older than 5 years old. She may be right or not, but I'd follow her advice to the grave :)
 

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Here;s a link to info from the University of Kentucky:

Canned Food Safty

It reads in part:
Canned food has a shelf life of at least two years from the
date of processing. Canned food retains its safety and
nutritional value well beyond two years, but it may have
some variation in quality, such as a change of color and
texture. Canning is a high-heat process that renders the
food commercially sterile. Food safety is not an issue in
products kept on the shelf or in the pantry for long
periods of time. In fact, canned food has an almost
indefinite shelf life at moderate temperatures (75° and
below). Canned food as old as 100 years has been found in
sunken ships and it is still microbiologically safe! We
don’t recommend keeping canned food for 100 year, but if
the can is intact, not dented or bulging, it is edible.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Theoretically yes, canned foods can last forever. Canned goods from the Civil War have been opened up and found to still be edible. That doesn't mean that they will still have the proper texture and flavor. This is actually what the experation dates are for. After the date the food company will no longer guarantee that the food in the can will taste good or have a nice texture. Having said that there are many ways a can's integrity can be compromised. Rust, dents, cracks and the infamous swelling of a can are all reasons to throw the can away and not risk it-no matter how hungry you are. I don't eat much store bought foods but I guess I wouldn't worry if the can was sound and a bit past its expiration date. Rotating your stock would be a better thing to do though.

Tury
 

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YOu want to buy what you eat and rotate your food. Oldest out first. Replace each can with two new ones when you can. Don't buy things you hate to eat. I think anything beyond 5 years or so has lost a lot of nutritional value. As for the Twinkie, you need to remember birds won't even eat them. JUST KIDDING. Birds will eat pop corn and die due to lack of nutritional value. Heat is also a big enemy. Keep all your food stores in dry cool places. Never in an attic or garage.
 

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I once had a can that bulged. It looked like it was ready to explode. Too bad I didn't check to see how old it was.
 

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I think it is because the dent will open up microscopic cracks in the metal can. At least there is the possibility of that happening so thats why dented cans usually dont last as long.
+1

and older cans suffer from this more. They were thicker and harder metal so they would kink and crack more easily. Newer cans are thinner and softer and have that disgusting plastic liner. I do not worry about a dent if I am going to eat it right away but the ones I have put aside are all un-dented.

Archeologists dug up a Roman era amphora that was still sealed. It had a kind of barley mash in it that could more or less be called beer... if you had to chew beer. The stuff was "safe to eat" even though it was 1800 years old.

One thing that worries me about things canned recently is there are so many more nasty things that can wind up in there. Hooray for globalisation! nothing like spreading the wealth of infectious organisms evenly around the planet.
 

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Why shouldn't someone store their stocks in the garage?
You want to store them in an area that has fairly consistent temperature and humidity. Cyclic changes in temp/humidity cause the metal cans to expand/contract which is another way to develop microscopic cracks.

So if your garage is climate-controlled, :thumb:

If not, :xeye:
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Just open a canned whole chicken I bought for my Y2K stash. Made chicken and dumplings. Tasted good and didn't even fart.......Alaskan
 

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When we cleared a small house (part from some really bizarre stuff we found), we found cans of cat food. I was like, wow that cat food looks like the type I bought for my cat in the early 90s. The whole place was moist and unsheltered. The cans were really bulgy and kind of rusty. Didn't open one to see what the inside looked like. Probably would have if I had had more time and space there. Also found beer cans in an old fridge. Unopened but no beer inside. Had evaporated.
 

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I've found that canned meats over 3 years old are of significantly lower quality than newer cans. As long as I can buy a replacement, the old stuff goes out every couple months.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Canned tomato's only last a year or a little longer then the acid eats the can. Beens I just ate some that were three years old they were just fine.
 
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