A Prepper’s Guide to Storing Canned Goods SAFELY

Sunday, December 15, 2019
By Paul Martin

by Sandra D. Lane
TheOrganicPrepper.com
December 15, 2019

by Sandra D. Lane
Even though many of us process our own goods for long-term food storage, we also supplement our pantries with canned foods from stores.

Sometimes it can be cheaper, especially when there’s a sale. Sometimes we supplement with items from stores that we don’t know how to can (or can’t safely can at home). And sometimes it’s items that are hard to come by or aren’t grown locally. As well, storebought canned goods have a longer shelf-life than our home-canned goodies, so there’s definitely a place for them in our stockpiles

Whatever the reason, there are certain things we need to remember and keep an eye on for safety reasons.

‘Best By’ dates are still relevant.

There’s a lot of contention regarding the expiration dates on canned foods.

Frequently expiration and ‘Best By’ dates are confused with each other, making things even worse. The ‘Best By’ date on any product is when the manufacturer estimates the product will remain at the best quality possible; like the best color, texture, smell, and taste. This date isn’t a hard line as to when the contents spoil, though. Neither are the expiration dates on commercially canned items.

Obviously, things that must be kept cold, like store-bought raw meats, dairy, cheese, and eggs are exceptions, as are most foods that were previously sealed. What really makes those dates important, though, is the fact they become guidelines for after you’ve bought them and stored them away, allowing for accurate rotation of goods.

Most expiration dates on canned foods can generally be extended.

Expiration dates on canned goods are, again, not hard lines for when a product spoils, and can usually be extended for a few years. In fact, expiration dates on canned goods are being replaced by ‘Best By’ or “Best if Used By” dates.

“Expiration” dates are rarely found on canned food. The codes vary from manufacturer to manufacturer and usually include coding for time and place of canning. Many canned products now have a “for best quality use by” date stamped on the top or bottom of the can. The general rule of thumb is that canned food has a shelf life of at least two years from the date of purchase.” source (emphasis mine)

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