When is canned food unsafe, and check your dates!

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sar5
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When is canned food unsafe, and check your dates!

Post by sar5 » Sun Nov 20, 2011 7:42 pm

Hi, while I was away a family member re did my shelves while house sitting. I didn't know it and now found a bunch of expired canned goods, ie cam bells chunky soups, dinky more beef,etc.
How far past the expiration date would you still eat it now. I know in a disaster survival situation you might be forced to eat old things , but how about now? A month or two perhaps six, a year?
Looking for some advise and as a friendly reminder to check your dates. We spend lot of time and money trying to put back food for an emergency and the thought of throwing away food and the loss of the monetary investment is hard to swallow,( pun intended) :D

Thanks, I checked the search to o avail.

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Re: When is canned food unsafe, and check your dates!

Post by duodecima » Sun Nov 20, 2011 7:53 pm

Assuming an intact can that's not bulging or otherwise suspicious, I would (and have) served the family commercially canned goods over a year past their official "expiration" dates. I do give it a careful eyeball when it's open, even if the can looks good.

If you want all the personal experience on this that ZS can provide, try this gem of a thread. (Near Death Experiments in Food.) Which only occasionally contains anything near death, mostly us boasting about how old our food was. :lol: My take home = watch out for stuff that's been in the fridge too long...
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Re: When is canned food unsafe, and check your dates!

Post by DurzoBlint38 » Mon Nov 21, 2011 2:15 am

I use a sharpie pen to write the expiration date on the top of all my canned goods when I bring them into the house. I find it helps a lot in rotating those kinds of preps. That being said, not to long ago, maybe September 2011 I pulled a large can of Bush's baked beans out from the back of a shelf. The date I'd written on the lid was some time in 2009 (sorry can't remember the month.

The can looked fine, I squeezed the can listening for any air leakage or funny sounds - none. No rust or corrosion on the can either. I opened it up and smelled it, smelled fine and looked fine. I microwaved a bowl of it and gave it a small taste test. It tasted normal and there was no difference in texture. To sum it up I ate a can of Bush's baked beans that had expired per the manufacturer almost 2 years ago. There was zero change in quality, taste, smell or texture.

As long as the integrity of the can is intact I'd be comfortable eating it 2-3 years expired right now. In a disaster situation that time frame would be longer if the can met the same standards and passed all the little tests I outlined above.

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Re: When is canned food unsafe, and check your dates!

Post by TXwaterdog » Mon Nov 21, 2011 5:46 am

Biggest concern of eating expired canned goods would be the linner leaching into the food. Every canned product lines the inside of said cans with a chemical. That chemical breaks down and leaches into the food over time. So, avoid cancer and don't eat expired canned goods unless SHTF, then just make sure the can has its integrity and food reaches above 150F before serving. You should be heating all your foods to 150F then let them cool down to a serving temp. This kills 99% of bacteria that can be found in foods. If its not to hot to eat then youre not done heating it up. It should burn your mouth at 150 degrees.
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Re: When is canned food unsafe, and check your dates!

Post by DurzoBlint38 » Mon Nov 21, 2011 6:00 am

SimonSellsAustin wrote:Biggest concern of eating expired canned goods would be the linner leaching into the food. Every canned product lines the inside of said cans with a chemical. That chemical breaks down and leaches into the food over time. So, avoid cancer and don't eat expired canned goods unless SHTF, then just make sure the can has its integrity and food reaches above 150F before serving. You should be heating all your foods to 150F then let them cool down to a serving temp. This kills 99% of bacteria that can be found in foods. If its not to hot to eat then youre not done heating it up. It should burn your mouth at 150 degrees.
So what about #10 cans that are meant to store food for 30+ years? Do they use a different kind of liner?

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Re: When is canned food unsafe, and check your dates!

Post by BullOnParade » Mon Nov 21, 2011 6:25 am

Somewhere around here is a link to an article where 100 year old canned goods were tested and no ill effects we're found. I'm on my phone, which makes searching/linking a PITA, so either search yourself or take my word for it*.

*My word is of no cash value and -like canned goods- without expiration date. My word can be changed without notice.
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Re: When is canned food unsafe, and check your dates!

Post by TXwaterdog » Mon Nov 21, 2011 7:28 am

I'm also on my phone (at the future In laws tying to sleep on a couch= no bueno). That's why I wasn't specific.. I'm sure specially designed cans have a special liner. But you'd have to google it. Im under the impression that all canned goods have a cancer causing agent in the liner that leaches into the foods. I still eat canned goods because I'm a rebel like that. To each their own but as I understand it, the longer the can us on the shelf, the more of the liner depletes and leaches toxins. Even the can itself is toxic to you but Ill be baking beans over the campfire when the time comes.
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Re: When is canned food unsafe, and check your dates!

Post by phil_in_cs » Mon Nov 21, 2011 7:59 am

BullOnParade wrote:Somewhere around here is a link to an article where 100 year old canned goods were tested and no ill effects we're found. I'm on my phone, which makes searching/linking a PITA, so either search yourself or take my word for it*.

*My word is of no cash value and -like canned goods- without expiration date. My word can be changed without notice.
I came here to point this out, but he beat me to it. U of Nebraska had some from the 1930's tested in the early 2000's, and it was not only edible, it still met the nutritional standards.
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Re: When is canned food unsafe, and check your dates!

Post by TacAir » Mon Nov 21, 2011 12:08 pm

SimonSellsAustin wrote:I'm also on my phone (at the future In laws tying to sleep on a couch= no bueno). That's why I wasn't specific.. I'm sure specially designed cans have a special liner. But you'd have to google it. Im under the impression that all canned goods have a cancer causing agent in the liner that leaches into the foods. I still eat canned goods because I'm a rebel like that. To each their own but as I understand it, the longer the can us on the shelf, the more of the liner depletes and leaches toxins. Even the can itself is toxic to you but Ill be baking beans over the campfire when the time comes.
We are all DOOOMED, doooomed I tell ya.

"A Swedish scientific research team has determined that health issues as minor as inflammation and as serious as cancer may be linked to cardboard packaging made from recycled newspapers.

The health risks comes from mineral oils in newspaper ink that survive the recycling process, leaking into foods commonly sold in cardboard boxes such as breakfast cereal, grains, pastas, crackers and cookies. The toxins were even found passing through the inner plastic liner bags, says researchers at the Food Safety Laboratory in Zurich, who tested 119 products from German supermarkets, with 90 of the packages containing higher than normal levels of mineral oils.

The research team cited that toxicological testing (on lab rats) had linked these mineral oils to increased health complaints with potentially serious consequences."

and then there is this

BPA is also used in the production of epoxy resins. Epoxy resins have many uses including engineering applications such as electrical laminates for printed circuit boards, composites, paints and adhesives, as well as in a variety of protective coatings. Cured epoxy resins are inert materials used as protective liners in metal cans to maintain the quality of canned foods and beverages, and have achieved wide acceptance for use as protective coatings because of their exceptional combination of toughness, adhesion, formability, and chemical resistance.

This follows:
Government and industry researchers have reported that bisphenol A (BPA) is generally not detected in canned beverages and only extremely low levels (generally less than 37 parts per billion) of BPA have been reported to migrate into some canned foods. At these levels, a consumer would have to ingest more than 500 pounds of canned food and beverages every day for an entire lifetime to exceed the safe level of BPA set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Consequently, human exposure to BPA from can coatings is minimal and poses no known health risk.

ANd the folks that make the stuff say-

The American Chemistry Council disputed the findings, saying publishing the results amounts to a "serious disservice by drawing a conclusion about product safety that simply cannot be drawn from either this study or the overall body of scientific research."

Food company officials say the doses detected in the tests are so low that they are insignificant to human health.

"These levels are EXTREMELY low," wrote John Faulkner, director of brand communications for Campbell Soup Co. Tests of the company's Just Heat & Enjoy tomato soup showed its container leached some of the lowest levels of BPA found. "In fact, you might just be able to find similar levels in plain old tap water due to 'background' levels. We are talking 40 to 60 parts per trillion (ppt). What is 40 to 60 ppt? 40 to 60 seconds in 32,000 years!"

The stuff has been used in cans for over 40 years.
Now that state of the part allows tracing part per trillion (PPT) (like in dollars) all kinds of these stories have popped up.
Another tortured analogy is PPT is like dumping 12 gallons of strawberry soda in Lake Meade, with PPT technology, you can find the soda in the water - if you look at enough water...

I rarely microwave food in the mfg container, - I put it in a glass bowl, avoiding the sometimes "high" levels of the chemical found in microwaved foods.

Then again, there are folks (Activists) who claim eating microwaved food will kill you...

Aaaaarrrrrgggghhhhhh we are doooomed I tell ya! Dooomed.... (Wait, what?)

Does anybody remember Alar?
http://news.heartland.org/newspaper-art ... pple-scare" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
The take-away quote from the article - "While most people still recall the historic Alar scare, few recognize the malevolent intentions of the groups involved"

And this - to be "fair" the flip-side - one of the organizations claiming the high ground.
http://www.ewg.org/node/8005" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

SO?
Processed foods carries some risk - compared to unprocessed foods, which in and of themselves carry some risks. You are going to make the purchase, you get to make the decision. My father has been eating canned and processed food in some form his entire, 87 year, life and he is still kicking. Since I like peaches out of season, I guess I'll take the "risk" and continue to eat canned peaches. As always, YMMV.


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Re: When is canned food unsafe, and check your dates!

Post by fourway » Mon Nov 21, 2011 6:56 pm

I've eaten canned food out of date by upwards of ten years.
You make sure the can isn't puffed, empty it out, look inside to make sure there are no obvious corrosion spots, taste a little, and if all seems well chow down.
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Re: When is canned food unsafe, and check your dates!

Post by Tonto » Mon Nov 21, 2011 7:11 pm

fourway wrote:I've eaten canned food out of date by upwards of ten years.
You make sure the can isn't puffed, empty it out, look inside to make sure there are no obvious corrosion spots, taste a little, and if all seems well chow down.

Ditto - unless the package or can say's "expires on..." it's good for (to me at least) 5 years after the "best by date" on non refrigerated items. According to a grocer manager acquaintance of mine, by law they have to put a best by date on all packages now to show that nutritional content, freshness etc is guaranteed up until that 'best by date'.

Heck, Just a couple months ago I ate a chicken ramen noodle packet that was "best by date" of 1998, chunky soup can best by date of 2006. Both tasted fine. But I really hate these new easy open pull tops. I cannot tell you how many of those I've thrown out just after a couple years of storage. I had to throw out a dozen canned hams because the seals were broken - those are the cans I worry most about now. They just don't last.
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Re: When is canned food unsafe, and check your dates!

Post by fourway » Tue Nov 22, 2011 1:33 pm

I've also eaten home canned goods of indeterminate age... but certainly dozens of years old. I actually trust home canning a bit better than industrial canning, and really if the seal isn't broken and it's out of the light there is no reason proper home pressure canned foods shouldn't be safe to eat until long past it shouldn't matter to any of us anymore.

The known oldest thing I've had out of a can was beer. clearing out the house of an old relative around 2000 I found a case of rheingold from the early 60's in the basement. straight sided seamed cans that needed to be opened with a church-key punch opener (no pop tops).

40 year old rheingold doesn't taste significantly worse than I remember rheingold tasting to begin with. Though several of the cans looked questionable and I let them go.
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Re: When is canned food unsafe, and check your dates!

Post by TXwaterdog » Fri Nov 25, 2011 5:47 pm

TacAir wrote: We are all DOOOMED, doooomed I tell ya.

SO?
Processed foods carries some risk - compared to unprocessed foods, which in and of themselves carry some risks. You are going to make the purchase, you get to make the decision. My father has been eating canned and processed food in some form his entire, 87 year, life and he is still kicking. Since I like peaches out of season, I guess I'll take the "risk" and continue to eat canned peaches. As always, YMMV.


Now back your snowstorm.... I had mine yesterday.
SimonSellsAustin wrote:Biggest concern of eating expired canned goods would be the linner leaching into the food.
I said it was the biggest concern of eating expired foods.. I didn't say it was a big health concern overall.
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Re: When is canned food unsafe, and check your dates!

Post by RickOShea » Fri Nov 25, 2011 6:00 pm

BullOnParade wrote:Somewhere around here is a link to an article where 100 year old canned goods were tested and no ill effects we're found. I'm on my phone, which makes searching/linking a PITA, so either search yourself or take my word for it*.
Here's the link Bull:

http://www.grandpappy.info/hshelff.htm
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Re: When is canned food unsafe, and check your dates!

Post by iridium » Fri Nov 25, 2011 10:35 pm

I ate a can of corn the other day that "expired" in 2006, it had fallen behind my shelving and I didnt catch it in time. Also with it was a can of peas that "expired" in 06 as well. Both we perfect.

As long as the can integrity is good, chances are the food is ok to eat.. that said, I rotate my normal canned stuff from the store pretty often. Only thing I dont worry about is canned spam.. lol that stuff as a half life, not a shelf life.. :mrgreen:

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Re: When is canned food unsafe, and check your dates!

Post by universal_exports » Fri Nov 25, 2011 11:09 pm

all the stuff I have that is good for 20+ years, (shelf reliance or mountain house) is freeze dried so without liquid against metal, I would think their is
way less opportunity for metal leaching into the food from the can.

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Re: When is canned food unsafe, and check your dates!

Post by RickOShea » Sat Nov 26, 2011 9:43 am

I'd be leery of acidic fruits and veggies eating thru the cans and cans with pop-tops. But otherwise, as long as the cans aren't dented and the tops and side seam aren't compromised, they should be GTG for just as long as freeze dried stuff.

That being said, I only stock canned goods from the U.S., the U.K. and Germany. IIRC, they all banned the use of solder with lead in it for use in sealing food cans back in the mid '80s.
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