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School me on food manufacturer expiration dates

Discussion in 'Survival/Preparedness Forum' started by glockeglock, Mar 2, 2012.

  1. kirgi08

    kirgi08 Watcher. Silver Member

    Jun 4, 2007
    Acme proving grounds.
    Those dates are kinda generous,as ta some of your choices,get tuna packed in oil it stores longer.'08.

  2. quake

    quake Millennium Member

    Aug 4, 1999
    Arkansas, USA
    Never completely understood the "why" of it, but even though oils typically don't store well, tuna in oil supposedly does. Don't understand it, and frankly not personally convinced it's true, but it seems to be commonly accepted; so I may be completely wrong to not trust it. Personally, it's tuna in water for us, but I can't say it's necessarily the best choice.

    As far as dates overall (and I'm sure what kirgi08 meant by 'generous') is that they're VERY conservative. I and I'm sure others here, regularly eat things way past their dates. Not all things - some are bad juju if old. Mayo, most anything dairy, most oils, etc; bad medicine and potentially harmful if "too" old. But canned things like meats, vegetables, etc, are safe WAY beyond (years if not decades beyond) their posted "use by" dates. I've eaten canned fruit more than two years past "the date", and canned meat (ham & tuna both) more than four years past the dates, with no ill effects.

    Some things like vegetables & fruit will get mushy & unappealing, but they do that several years past "the date", and even then the threshold of "unsafe" hasn't yet been approached at that point.
  3. Bolster

    Bolster Not Ready Yet!

    Jul 23, 2011
    State of Stupidity
    Always an interesting topic in this subforum. Recollect a difference between "edible" and "nutritious." Food may stop being nutritious long before its inedible.

    Lots of internet resources, but difficult to find them that are seeking the outside maximums. Also the temperature of storage has lots to do with longevity. Here's a few to get started:
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2012
  4. I don't know that tuna in oil stores better, but it does have more calories per can than oil packed in water. And when calories are at a premium, best to have more bang for the buck. Perhaps the more calorie argument somehow got turned into the better shelf life belief.

    Anyways, I had some canned soup that was a year expired, and it tasted just fine.
  5. kirgi08

    kirgi08 Watcher. Silver Member

    Jun 4, 2007
    Acme proving grounds.
    I'll give you an example.We ate spaghetti sauce dated for 2008 and it was fine.'08.
  6. bdcochran


    Sep 23, 2005
    Los Angeles
    1. depends upon the food. Some of expiration dates are based upon testing by the producer of the food product itself. Some expiration dates are based upon the deterioration rate of the container. Other expiration dates are based upon the federal government dictating the dates (like labeling MREs.) that may or may not be the same as the shelf life.

    2. no matter what the expiration date on the package, if you investigate the manufacturer will give you a storage temperature, information on whether the product can be left in the sun or must be stored in low light conditions.

    You will always read about some guy eating food 15 years past the labeled expiration date. So what? It doesn't relieve you from doing your own investigation.
  7. kalifornia


    Jul 25, 2010
    yesterday i ate tuna that expired in 2010 it was yummy
  8. bdcochran


    Sep 23, 2005
    Los Angeles
    I buy a case of canned food and put it aside.

    The expiration date comes and goes.

    The time passes.

    When I get around to it, I take the expired caned food to the local food bank and get a charitable donation.

    I feel good because:
    1. I don't get caught up in expiration dates;
    2. I don't get caught up in rotation schemes;
    3. I can stack things neatly and not have to keep going in and moving boxes around.
    4. I am charitable.
    5. I am prepared.
  9. 3glkdog


    Jun 1, 2006
    LV, NV
    I have canned salmon that's over 4yo, still gtg. If the can is not bulging on the top it should be good.
  10. Paul53

    Paul53 Geezer Boomer

    Nov 27, 2011
    My understanding is that it's two fold. One is how long nutritional value, especially vitamins, are good for. Milk loses it's vitamins rapidly from light which is why the color of containers is engineered to keep certain colors out.

    The other is the containers. Cans may be lined, but the sealant (tin?) or even the lining itself may leach nasties into the food. For instance, never store tomato sauces or products in aluminum cookware.

    Not claiming to be an expert, so please don't flame me if you have better info.
  11. quake

    quake Millennium Member

    Aug 4, 1999
    Arkansas, USA
    Exactly. I had boxed kraft mac & cheese yesterday with canned chicken thrown in (wife was gone to the little rock marathon, one son was working & the other was at trap team practice, so I was on my own & feeling lazy). The mac & cheese had a 'use by' date of sometime in 2008, and even though it had "cheese" - if that's what's really in it - it was fine.
  12. sebecman


    Jun 13, 2008

    6. The inbound sorter at the foodbank blows the dust off the top, looks at the expiration dates and tosses it in the trash.
  13. sebecman


    Jun 13, 2008
    And don't get me wrong, we regularly eat past the expiration dates. I just used to spend some time in and around a few shelters in my area as a volunteer and I can tell you that when supposedly "expired" food gets donated, it gets tossed. No one wants the BS of potential lawsuits these days.

    But hey maybe it's different out in LA. dunno
  14. kirgi08

    kirgi08 Watcher. Silver Member

    Jun 4, 2007
    Acme proving grounds.
    Hunger is the best sauce,shelters know about exp dates.They know dates are conservative.'08.
  15. wjv


    Jan 17, 2002
    Pacific NW
    Thing I hate about tuna is that the cans are half water/oil. By time you drain the can, your left with half a can of food.

    LASTRESORT20 LongTerm-Guy

    Aug 10, 2010
    ~ "I'm thinking of canned foods like soup, chili, tuna, fruits and vegetables, but don't let that limit the discussion" ~
    `I store alot of canned food also...I look at dates also...Just because a "can" says "best by" and so date....... It dont mean much..Canned food still can be good way after expiration date.....`I have also been storing alot of Dehydrated food...I have checked out many of the different companies `and there are many good ones` (got their free samples first) `and I have settled on one`... Its more of a Gourmet version (very tasty) of the food..and closer to natural with up to 25 year Shelf-Life...lighter easier to store and move...comes in Packets with many servings in them...I liked it so much..I bought more and I deceided to sell it (after I got the free sample)....anyway here is the free sample link...just pay the shipping (no one will bother you) I own the site and advertise here....feel free to scroll around.
  17. pugman


    May 16, 2003
    Environment is (nearly) everything.

    They have recovered canned goods from wrecked ships and subs 60-80 years later and the food was found to contain no micro parasites.

    Cool, dry, bug free and undamaged food can last a very long time.

    An old lady I visit a few times a week was just moved to a care facility - she is 98.

    She has cases of food in her windowless basement storage area. She constantly runs dehumidifiers and the air down there almost hurts to breathe its so dry.

    Canned everything...lots and lots of vegetables.

    Just cracked a can tomatoes from 2005...the veggies did retain a little "metal" taste...kind of like drinking cheap canned beer.

    No problems whatsoever...then again...they were cooked.

    My MIL used to work at the Fritolay plant in Beloit, WI. They make nearly everything chip wise. Their company store I used to buy cases of chips for a fraction of the price since they were close to expiration date or even expired.

    I've opened a bag of chips a year past expiration problem. However, this varied greatly by the product. Oily chips were nasty..."dry" chips like Cheetos were fine....baked products tasted completely fresh
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2012
  18. Commander_Zero


    Sep 3, 2007
    Tomato products seem store store, long term, better in jars than cans, in my experience. I suspect the natural acidity of the tomatoes reacts with metal cans worse than with something reaction-neutral like glass. (Of course, glass needs to be kept out of the light.)