View Full Version : canned food help

10-10-2000, 03:10 PM
How long can you keep canned (store bought) foods, such as soup, veggies, tuna etc.? I have cans that have been sitting in the pantry for 5 years because I'm not sure if I should use them. They are not dented or "bloated" as if air has gotten into them. Any help would be greatly appreciated. THNX. Erin.

10-10-2000, 03:50 PM
We did this one before, and I think the general concensus came out to be a year to two years was the expected shelf life for most foods. I remember looking at a can of soup I had just bought, and its date was a little more than two years out. Food may be safe to eat after that, but may lose quality (color, appearance, faded flavors, etc.). Hope that helps.

10-10-2000, 03:54 PM
Ah, Erin! We could have compared notes. I'm sure I had canned goods older than you. Please see: www.cookinglight.com/bbs/Forum1/HTML/000953.html (http://www.cookinglight.com/bbs/Forum1/HTML/000953.html)

PS I have since done some major cleaning!
Good luck. http://www.cookinglight.com/bbs/smile.gif

10-12-2000, 11:04 PM
Wednesday Washington Post ran an article about this issue. You can read it go to www.washingtonpost.com (http://www.washingtonpost.com) then go under food there is the entire article plus links to more info. Enclosed the reference to canned goods.
* Canned foods: In general, canned foods don't spoil, although they may lose some of their nutrients over time. Vitamin C is sometimes affected, but minerals such as calcium and iron "don't go away," says Allen Matthys, vice president of regulatory affairs for the National Food Processors Association. The "best-if-used- by" dates that manufacturers are increasingly putting on canned items guarantee nutrient content up to that date, he said.

Products low in acidity, such as canned meat and poultry, stews, soups (except tomato), pasta, potatoes, corn, carrots, spinach, beans, beets, peas and pumpkin shouldn't suffer any loss in quality up to five years after you buy them, according to a Food Marketing Institute brochure titled "The Food Keeper." Canned goods that are high in acid, such as tomato products, fruits, sauerkraut and foods in vinegar-based sauces and dressings, have a shorter life span--up to about 18 months, since the acidity may interact with the metal in the container, says Matthys.

Store canned foods in clean, dry, cool cabinets away from the stove or refrigerator's exhaust, and never use food from cans that are leaking, bulging, badly dented or have a foul smell, says the FMI brochure.