Canned food has been a pantry staple for many years, and it can be a great way to stock up on long-lasting items. But how long is canned food good for after the expiration date? The answer may surprise you.
The truth is that canned food can last far beyond its expiration date if stored properly. Cans are designed to resist rust, puncture and spoilage, so it’s not unusual for them to remain safe for consumption well after their printed dates. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), most canned foods can be stored for at least one to two years past their expiration dates as long as they are kept in a cool, dry place.
While canned goods have an indefinite shelf life, there are some factors that can affect the quality of the food:
- Temperature: Exposure to heat or cold can cause cans to swell or rust, which could potentially lead to spoilage.
- Light: Prolonged exposure to direct light can cause discoloration or fading of labels and make cans more susceptible to damage.
- Moisture: Dampness or humidity can cause cans to rust and weaken over time.
In addition, some foods may not taste as good after being stored for too long. For example, fruits and vegetables may become less flavorful over time due to oxidation. Canned meats may become tough and dry if stored too long.
It’s important to use your best judgment when determining whether or not a canned product is still safe for consumption. If the can looks damaged or swollen, has an odd odor or color, or if the contents don’t look right, it’s best to discard it immediately.
In conclusion, canned food has an indefinite shelf life if stored properly in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. However, it is important to use your best judgment when determining whether or not a product is still safe for consumption after its expiration date has passed. If the can looks damaged or swollen, smells off, or if the contents don’t look right – discard it immediately.