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What Happens If You Eat Expired Canned Food

What Happens If You Eat Expired Canned Food

what happens if you eat expired canned food

In consuming canned food, as long as they remain in good condition, there is no real health risk or any food poisoning. Canned food can be eaten after the expiry date if they are stored adequately. They can last for years until the Can is in good condition. 

I hope I do not need to tell you, but if food is really leaking out of a tin, you do not want to use it. If the food is present in a brine or oil, test the quality of the brine or oil before using any of the food contents that are in the cans.

The key element in shelf life is not the date of the expiration on the can, but rather how the food is stored. Food canned in home does not come with expiration dates, so it is always good practice to label your containers with the day you canned your food.

Most canned foods will safely last for years on your shelves and you can still eat them, no matter what the date says. The general rule is that you can eat most canned foods for 1-6 years after their expiration date, as long as they are stored cool, dark, and in good condition. The short answer is yes, most canned foods are certainly safe to eat past the date they were manufactured, but there are some other details you need to take into consideration before you get on with cooking with that mysterious can of tomatoes.

Learn is it ok to eat expired canned food

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, shelf-stable foods are safe to eat for an unlimited period, and you are allowed to consume them long after the expiration date. As a general rule, most canned foods (such as canned tuna, soups, and vegetables) can last from two to five years, while foods with a high acidity level (juices, tomatoes, pickles) can last from one to 18 months, according to the FDA. Low-acid foods, such as potatoes, carrots, peas, squash, and meats, are likely to keep five years or longer past their expiration dates.

FoodsAfter The Expiration Date
Tomatoes and high acid canned foodsTomatoes and other high acid canned products should be consumed within two years of expiration.
Vegetables, meat and low acid foodsVegetables, canned meats, and soups low in acid should be consumed within two to three years of their expiration date.
How long is canned food good for after the expiration date?

In general, foods with higher acidity levels actually expire earlier, whereas foods with more base pH levels last longer, such as most canned vegetables and fruits. While foods may lose quality and develop an off-flavor or become obsolete after their expiration dates, one of the biggest things to keep in mind is that foods may also lose their nutritional value over time. That is, by eating a food past the recommended expiration date, that food may have lost some nutritional value.

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In many cases, dates are conservative, so you might not notice a difference in quality if you are eating past this date, particularly if it is been recently passed. Depending on where you live, you might see varying dates on food, each with different purposes. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, many dates listed on foods are really for quality, not safety, meaning that some items are not going to harm you if you eat them–they might just be getting stale, or losing their taste, over time.

The vast majority of food date labels, including “Sold By,” “Used By,” and “Best If Used By,” are suggestions from the food maker about the best possible freshness and flavor, rather than indicators of safety or food-related health concerns. When it comes to canned foods–and a great deal of foods, really–it turns out that many consumers are not always sure how to decipher these best if used by dates. According to Kimberly Baker, PhD, RD, L.D., director, food systems and safety program team (Cooperative Extension) at Clemson University, expiration dates and best-by dates that we see on canned foods are not indicative of when a food is going to go bad or spoil.

Registered Dietitian Jenn Fillenworth says that in most cases, and with some foods, there is nothing that is going to happen if you eat a product a bit past its expiration or best-by date. Just because it is one to two days past its best-by date does not mean eating that food is going to make you sick, though you should judge the quality of food for yourself once it is. Eating expired foods, or foods that are past their use-by dates, may expose your body to harmful bacteria, which may cause vomiting, diarrhea, and a fever. You will want to use caution eating expired foods, particularly when it comes to foods you are usually most at risk for getting food poisoning.

It is always best to err on the side of caution, or to check FDAs Food Safety Guideline, when eating expired foods, because dates can be confusing. If you do not want to risk illness with contaminated canned goods, you probably will want to set up your own safety guidelines when eating expired canned foods. While canned food stored over an extended period of time can be perfectly safe to eat, it might have undergone some quality changes, which impact on flavor, color, and more. Manufacturers want to make sure that you are getting food that is as safe as possible, because if you purchase a can that is safe, but is just slightly imperfect, you may never purchase their products again.

The question of whether or not certain canning is enough to make a food edible over that long period is not the same as the question of whether or not a food is spoilt. These tins are from the early 1800s, when, in contrast to todays common tin cans, foods were packed into cans that held more than seven pounds of food.

Although some of the canned foods had lost much of their fresh scent and look, the NFPAs chemical experts found no microbes growing, and determined that the foods were just as safe to eat as when canned over 100 years ago. I was going to throw this in the garbage, but curiosity got the best of me, and I decided to open up the cans to see how bad the foods had become.

The exact acid levels of tomatoes can vary wildly depending on if they are fresh or canned, what kind of tomatoes, and what season. According to the US National Library of Medicine, food poisoning can result from eating foods that are naturally raw, undercooked, left outside too long, or improperly stored. You are most likely to find a non-recognizable code on canned foods and other shelf-stable items, while you are most likely to find a recognizable date on perishable items such as meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products. About 40 states require dates on certain perishable foods, such as meat and dairy products, so nowadays, it is more likely that you are seeing the dates on your food labels.

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The results show that foods made with early preservation methods, such as the ones Bryan Donkin first used, which were based on the process Nicholas Appert developed (using glass) and the Peter Durand patent, also can withstand the test of time.

How long is canned food good for after the expiration date?

Tomatoes and other high acid canned products should be consumed within two years of expiration. Vegetables, canned meats, and soups low in acid should be consumed within two to three years of their expiration date.

Can canned food last 20 years?

According to the USDA, high-acid canned foods like tomatoes will retain their quality for up to 12 to 18 months. On the other hand, low-acid canned foods like meats will retain their quality for two to six years. Canned foods do not last forever due to corrosion and rust.

Is it safe to eat expired canned food?

Yes, it is safe to eat canned foods beyond their expiration date. Even though canned foods past their “best by” date may not taste flavorful, there is no real health risk attached to consuming canned products as long as they have been adequately stored and are in a good condition.