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expiration dates on canned foods and boxed foods

Last post Jul 22, 2009 6:32 AM by jetfan27 . 7 replies.


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  • expiration dates on canned foods and boxed foods

    I am writing to ask if you all go by the expiration dates on canned vegetables and boxed foods like macaroni and cheese and Campbell's supper bakes?  I have some that have expired and don't know if I should try them.  I have one that is two years old.  I went on line today and the expiration date for vegetables says that you can still use them 5 years later provided they are not dented or have a raised lid.  Your thoughts everyone.  I am being frugal and don't want to waste but I also don't want to get sick. How much after expiration dates have you all used an item?  Thanks.  Sandy

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  • Re: expiration dates on canned foods and boxed foods

    I'm quite squeamish about using things past the expiration date, but I've used mixes and canned foods up to a month or so past the date.  I also used a ham that was a month past the date - I called the store about it and they said that the ham should be good for at least six weeks past.  I also once got a box of crackers that was just full of worms - turns out it was waaaaaaaaaaayyyy past the expiration when I bought it.  You could see the nasty little things squirming around in the package after it was out of the box.  It happened to be Diet Center crackers.  I get the willies even thinking about it now!

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  • Re: expiration dates on canned foods and boxed foods

    sandrap

    I am writing to ask if you all go by the expiration dates on canned vegetables and boxed foods like macaroni and cheese and Campbell's supper bakes?  I have some that have expired and don't know if I should try them.  I have one that is two years old.  I went on line today and the expiration date for vegetables says that you can still use them 5 years later provided they are not dented or have a raised lid.  Your thoughts everyone.  I am being frugal and don't want to waste but I also don't want to get sick. How much after expiration dates have you all used an item?  Thanks.  Sandy

     

    My mother has a serious problem with "collecting" food.  I can't really call it hoarding, because there are legitimate mental reasons for her position (she's had therapy).  She remembers the 1930's only too vividly, and went through the same with her oldest son (I'm the youngest).

     

    She lives with me now, so I know only too well her problem, as I moved her here 2 years ago- with almost as much canned food (65 boxes) as furniture.

     

    Expiration dates: all that really says is taste will begin to degrade; does not mean it is inedible, nor is it necessarily true.  Why?

     

    Food processors are in the business of selling food- if you don't buy food every so often, they can't make money- unless they raise prices.

     

    My experience with outdated cans (and I've come across cans with nothing recognizable- gone!) dating to 1988- no way!  Inkjet printing- 2 years prior to the date shown is about when it was actually canned- more or less.  Depending on the product, it should last about 5 years in the can before anyone should start getting concerned.

     

    Justification:  Emergency Preparedness information.  Survivalists believe a 5- year supply of food and water is required to "survive" some catastrophic worldwide event.  The American Red Cross recommends stored foods in areas where such things should be sequestered (hurricane, tornado, earthquake) in a safe place to not exceed 5 years.  The FDA/USDA recommends same.

     

    I think the evidence is sufficient to believe that 5 years is probably long enough to not worry about it- unless the container is swollen or shows signs of leakage.

     

    Anything older than that, but in a apparently safe-looking container, should be used with extreme caution: listen, look, smell, taste. If you hear the seal being broken- good; if it looks near normal, okay; if it smells okay-good; if it tastes okay, it's probably edible, but look at the container, too- any black spots is not good- throw it out.

     

    I've eaten 12 year old canned tuna without any problems, using the above.  I've also thrown out 7 year old jarred pasta sauce because it looked a little brownish and didn't smell right- even though the "POP" was there when the lid was opened.  That is the experience; this wasn't the first time.  The first time, we went ahead and made dinner, but the pasta sauce tasted really bad- and we eat what is in front of us- but had to toss it.  You don't need to do that.

     

    Editing to add:  boxed products can be a haven for weevils, unless packaged in foil or hermetically sealed plastic in a vaccuum.  Weevil eggs are inherent in just about all grain products, so, a year or two is about all you can expect.

     

    Hope that helps!

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  • Re: expiration dates on canned foods and boxed foods

    I do not worry about the expiration date on canned goods, years ago, before the ineternet I called Chicken of The Sea Tuna manufacturer and was toldthat you could dtill eat it up to 5 yrs later. The food may have lost a small amount of food value by then but as long as the lids are not raied, the cans not dented and the seams do not leak you are fine.

    Noodles keep but they may go stale. Expired boxed MIXES I would not use more than a few weeks  past expiration date. They have LOTS f rservatives in them but the fats in them may go rancid and they would taste YUCKY.

    I don't use mixes because of the preservatives, other chemicals and very high sodium. I make EVERYTHING from scartch, it is just as easy to whip up a batch of biscuits than it is to drag out the mix and what you have to add to it and it is cheaper.

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  • Re: expiration dates on canned foods and boxed foods
    well if your asking,,yes go ahead and eat it. But write what it was you ate in case you get so sick you don't remember what you ate.We have no idea how much dated food we eat in prepared food and resturants. My husband got terribly ill off roast beef at a resturant. He couldn't get over how much prime rib came with his dinner well with in 24 hours he could hardly stand he was so weak . So I'd say if you have the control toss it out,,why even take a chance.
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  • Re: expiration dates on canned foods and boxed foods

    Several years ago I opened a can of baked beans and they immediately spewed out foam and just kept overflowing.  I threw them away of course/  They were obviously very bad.  Just to let you know they were not bulging or have any funny look to the can.   Be very careful!  I am very sure it had botulism or some god awful thing going on.  My family is too important.  If you feel it isn't right in any way throw it out.  Why risk death or serious illness.

    When in doubt throw it out.  Wash anything that you used to open the can thoroughly too. 

    Be safe not sorry!

    Sandy

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    "Anyone can oppose, it's fun to be against things, but there comes a time when you have to start being for things as well."

  • Re: expiration dates on canned foods and boxed foods

    When my parents were alive they use to stock up especially during winter time because they were afraid they couldn't get to the store. Can goods were in the damp basement and I don't know if the dampness or whatever maybe rusted out the cans or what but some cans exploded. What a mess that was. When I visited them, I would go down there and throw out so much stuff. Opened canned tomatoes & they were black. I was so scared for their health.

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  • Re: expiration dates on canned foods and boxed foods

    I know this may not be the smartest thing, but my motto is"If it smells good, eat it". I have been gifted with a keen sense of smell and I smell everything before I use it. I guess it works, I'm still alive.

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    When the tides of life are against you

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