Can You Donate Canned Food Past Best by Date?

It is important to be aware of the expiration date on canned foods before donating them to charities or food banks. Canned food that is past its best by date may not be safe for human consumption, and it could potentially put those who eat it at risk for food-borne illnesses.

Knowing whether or not you can donate canned food past its best by date is important for ensuring that those in need are getting the food they need without risking their health in the process.

When a can of food has reached its best by date, this does not necessarily mean that the product should be immediately discarded. Most canned foods will still remain safe to eat for some time after their best by date has passed.

Generally speaking, canned goods can be consumed safely up to two years after their expiration date, as long as they have been stored properly.

If you are considering donating cans of food past their best by dates, it is important to check over each can carefully before doing so. Any cans that are bulging or leaking should be discarded immediately, as these could indicate that the contents have spoiled and might no longer be safe to consume. Additionally, most charities and food banks prefer donations of cans with a best by date no more than one year in the future, so make sure to keep this in mind when donating.


In conclusion, it is possible to donate canned food past its best by date as long as certain precautions are taken first. Carefully inspect each can for signs of spoilage and make sure that the expiration dates are no more than one year in the future before donating them. Doing so will ensure that those in need get access to safe and nutritious meals without putting their health at risk.