School me on food manufacturer expiration dates [Archive] - Glock Talk

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glockeglock
03-02-2012, 15:29
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kirgi08
03-02-2012, 15:35
Those dates are kinda generous,as ta some of your choices,get tuna packed in oil it stores longer.'08.

glockeglock
03-02-2012, 16:03
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quake
03-02-2012, 16:37
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.

Bolster
03-02-2012, 16:57
I'm wondering how long the food is good for after that date expires. I'm thinking of canned foods like soup, chili, tuna, fruits and vegetables, but don't let that limit the discussion.

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:

http://www.henrycoema.org/forms/Storage-Life-of-Groceries.pdf

http://foodstoragemadeeasy.net/fsme/docs/shelflife.pdf

http://whatscookingamerica.net/Information/FreezerChart.htm

Glocksanity
03-02-2012, 17:58
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.

kirgi08
03-02-2012, 19:03
Not sure what you mean by "generous."
Good to know about the tuna. I've been buying the water packed tuna.

I'll give you an example.We ate spaghetti sauce dated for 2008 and it was fine.'08.

bdcochran
03-02-2012, 19:13
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.

kalifornia
03-02-2012, 21:39
yesterday i ate tuna that expired in 2010 it was yummy

bdcochran
03-02-2012, 21:50
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.

3glkdog
03-03-2012, 11:07
I have canned salmon that's over 4yo, still gtg. If the can is not bulging on the top it should be good.

Paul53
03-03-2012, 19:01
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.

quake
03-05-2012, 15:13
I'll give you an example.We ate spaghetti sauce dated for 2008 and it was fine.'08.

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.

sebecman
03-06-2012, 11:10
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.


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

sebecman
03-06-2012, 11:15
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

kirgi08
03-06-2012, 11:45
Hunger is the best sauce,shelters know about exp dates.They know dates are conservative.'08.

wjv
03-06-2012, 11:52
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
03-06-2012, 12:22
~ "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" ....so 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.

http://lastresort.mygofoods.com/products/try-a-free-sample/

pugman
03-06-2012, 12:43
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 date...no problem. However, this varied greatly by the product. Oily chips were nasty..."dry" chips like Cheetos were fine....baked products tasted completely fresh

Commander_Zero
03-06-2012, 13:22
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.)

beatcop
03-06-2012, 16:22
Had some peaches from 2003 I believe...pretty mushy, but a GO.

glockeglock
03-06-2012, 16:58
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nightwolf1974
03-06-2012, 17:29
Ok, what about exporation dates on bottled water? Will the stuff I stockpile now in a cool closet with no light or windows still be good 2 or 3 years from now for human consumption without boiling?

sebecman
03-07-2012, 07:50
Ok, what about exporation dates on bottled water? Will the stuff I stockpile now in a cool closet with no light or windows still be good 2 or 3 years from now for human consumption without boiling?

Commercially bottled water in PET plastic containers will store for a very long time. PET is the clear plastic, like all individual sized bottles. Some people complain of a plastic taste after a few years of storage. I have water that is in the area of 6 years old and it still tastes ok to me.

Now, HDPE plastic which is opaque, or NOT see thru, think milk jugs, is not good for long term storage. HDPE will degrade after just a year or two depending on storage climate. The result is leaking jugs and compromised water quality.

The leading bottled water company in my area is making a 3 liter PET bottle that I like for long term but I also like the small individual sizes.

cyrsequipment
03-10-2012, 19:02
The leading bottled water company in my area is making a 3 liter PET bottle that I like for long term but I also like the small individual sizes.

I assume you are talking about Poland Spring, where are you getting them? I must have missed that size...

LASTRESORT20
03-10-2012, 19:14
Interesting website. Do you have a coupon code for us?



`Thanks glockeglock!....we continue to give out free samples (just pay the shipping)...There are ways to buy wholesale on the site....That is how I buy mine.


http://lastresort.mygofoods.com/products/try-a-free-sample/

mikekj
03-10-2012, 19:35
There seems to be some confusion here between "Best By" dates and "expiration" dates.

They are NOT the same.

Best by refers to taste and nutritional values. These are still edible way past the best by date. This is NOT an expiration date.

Expiration dates refer to spoilage, think dairy products.(mold, sour, etc.)

sebecman
03-12-2012, 08:28
I assume you are talking about Poland Spring, where are you getting them? I must have missed that size...

Bangor Walmart. :cool:
http://www.walmart.com/ip/Poland-Spring-Natural-Spring-Water-Sumo-Bottle-3l/15724074

glockeglock
03-12-2012, 14:20
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LASTRESORT20
03-12-2012, 14:48
Thank you, but giving out my credit card number for a "free" sample doesn't seem too wise. I look around locally for a similar product.


You are quite Welcome...getting anything online on a secured site and having it shipped requires payment.... "locally" is your best bet. Good to speak with you.

quake
03-17-2012, 18:26
Another example, completely unexpected. Was rummaging thru some cupboards today and came across a opened foil bag of Eight O'Clock coffee beans with a "Best when used by" date of 04-28-07; five years ago almost. I don't normally buy coffee unground, but bought this when playing around with a couple of coffee mills for small-amount grain-milling use, and had no idea I'd left it in there. (Feel free to chastise for slackness in rotation - it was a small package in the back of a bottom shelf and just sat there forgotten for years; I have no excuse sir... :embarassed: ) For clarification, the bag wasn't setting "open" this entire time; it had been opened, used from, and then re-closed (folded over & clipped shut), and sat like that the whole time in a climate-controlled kitchen cupboard.

Anyway, I very much expected it to smell and/or taste rancid, possibly horribly so, but not at all. So I ran the last of the package thru a coffee mill. It still smelled fine so I made up a pot and tried it. While it (stunningly) wasn't rancid, it wasn't "great" either. The glaring issue it did have was being VERY weak. Using the normal amount made what looked like a very weak tea. Finally, using nearly three times the normal amount, it was ok. Not great, but about like some of the cheap store brands I've tried in the past. And that's from a container that was opened more than five years ago. A lot of folks will say that coffee isn't "good" for more than a few months, and some yuppie snobs will say a few weeks. My standards probably aren't as high as those of yuppie snobs, and even to me this wasn't what I'd want every day, but it's still unquestionably "useable" and safe.

Anyway, it just made me think of this thread, so I thought I'd pass it on.

RED64CJ5
03-17-2012, 18:36
Ok, I'll play.

I stopped at our local "general store" (think Green Acres) to buy a 1/2 gallon of buttermilk. The place is so small, they normally only carry one or two 1/2 gallon jugs at a time. The whole store is only about 800 sq feet and a 1/3 of that is "tables" for the locals to drink coffee.

Well, the owner told me they were out of buttermilk... The owner's wife said "check the other fridge." In the fridge there was a 1/2 gallon of buttermilk that had a date of Feb 22 on it. Bear in mind this was on Mar 16. the owner said "shake it, open it up, and take a swig." So I did. And I didn't die. So I got it for $1. Normally we use up ours at home so it doesn't go bad, but sometimes it will sit there 1/2 full for a while after the expiration date. I found that buttermilk tends to last 30-40 days after before getting too spoiled.

Anyway, I used up the 1/2 gallon of Feb 22 buttermilk pretty quick, but none of us are dead, so I guess I did alright for $1.

mikekj
03-18-2012, 09:24
Generally on milk, it is a "sell by" date. That is not an expiration date. That is to insure the product is still fresh for home use for another 7-10 days after selling.

Texas357
03-20-2012, 21:59
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.


This. Food can lose it's nutritional value before it is inedible, especially if you are talking about prepared/preserved food (i.e. MREs.)

jason10mm
03-23-2012, 08:31
You also have to consider whether the product has been opened yet. A sealed bottle of milk might last well beyond the "sell date" but one that has only an inch left in the bottom (was mostly drunk the day it was bought, then left in the fridge for 2 weeks) might be bad as it has been in contact with a container full of outside air and contaminants.

I see these damned prepper shows where they pop open some canned good, munch on a bit of it, then put it back on the shelf. They just started the clock on that good, I hope they don't expect to preserve it for another 20 years!

Use your nose, your eyes, and if in doubt, try a small portion and wait a few hours before consuming the rest. NEVER EVER open or eat from a bulging can though, botulism will kill you deader than dirt. But otherwise stuff sitting on a shelf for years will have either dried up, gone to mold, or been eaten by bugs. Worst case if it stayed intact is it has little more than fiber and water value to your body; the sugars, vitamins, and proteins having long since degraded.

G29Reload
03-23-2012, 10:57
I recently had a can of tomato clam sauce over pasta, can was from the 90's.

Absolutely fine.

Same week, same cleanout, found an 11 year old can of salmon that was AWESOME. Not a problem.

Even if the food is supposedly less nutritious than newer, and just edible, it still has value in raw calories even if it just gives you energy to keep going. Your body know what to do with it.

You think you're tough? There's half a million scarecrows in Denver who'd give anything for half a mouthful of what you've got. The live on sawdust bread and sometimes…each other. At night the pyres for the dead light up the sky…its medieval...

bigmac85
03-23-2012, 13:03
You think you're tough? There's half a million scarecrows in Denver who'd give anything for half a mouthful of what you've got. The live on sawdust bread and sometimes…each other. At night the pyres for the dead light up the sky…its medieval...

Please elaborate!

quake
03-23-2012, 14:22
Please elaborate!

Red Dawn quote; hard to believe that was nearly 30 years ago now.... :faint:


Most folks under 30 (under 40..?) probably aren't familiar with it.

malleable
03-24-2012, 00:39
tagged

Toyman
03-24-2012, 05:37
There seems to be some confusion here between "Best By" dates and "expiration" dates.

They are NOT the same.

Best by refers to taste and nutritional values. These are still edible way past the best by date. This is NOT an expiration date.

Expiration dates refer to spoilage, think dairy products.(mold, sour, etc.)

Exactly. Put it this way:

If you were a manufacturer selling food, would you put "Best by Mar 2013 - go buy some more" or "Best by 2025 no need to buy any more" ?

Glocks&Ducs
03-24-2012, 21:47
...

Now, HDPE plastic which is opaque, or NOT see thru, think milk jugs, is not good for long term storage. HDPE will degrade after just a year or two depending on storage climate. The result is leaking jugs and compromised water quality....

I have a milk jug that has been sitting in my garage since 2001 or 2002, that is still intact and holding liquid. It gets as cold in the garage as it does outside during the winter, and hotter than it gets outside during the summer, not to mention the humidity.

If I recall correctly, it has Methyl Ethyl Ketone in it.

G29Reload
03-24-2012, 23:13
Please elaborate!

One of these days, you might be crawling thru the rubble of your house or your town and stumble across or dig out a can of some foodstuff…. and if it has a 2 year expiration date on it and its 3 years past that…your only concern will be how to get the can open without spilling any of it. You wouldn't give a flying crap about it being "past expiration"…and take your chances.

Except it will probably be fine. And you might live another day.

TangoFoxtrot
03-25-2012, 06:42
One of these days, you might be crawling thru the rubble of your house or your town and stumble across or dig out a can of some foodstuff…. and if it has a 2 year expiration date on it and its 3 years past that…your only concern will be how to get the can open without spilling any of it. You wouldn't give a flying crap about it being "past expiration"…and take your chances.

Except it will probably be fine. And you might live another day.

Absolutely!

Bolster
04-06-2012, 18:03
Here's an interesting source that appears to give the "long" side of shelf life...

http://survivalacres.com/information/shelflife.html

nightwolf1974
04-08-2012, 17:38
so to clarify, the 5 gallon water cooler jugs can last (if stored in a dark and cool closet) for a few years with no problems?

kirgi08
04-08-2012, 18:33
so to clarify, the 5 gallon water cooler jugs can last (if stored in a dark and cool closet) for a few years with no problems?

If it is injection molded/no seams,and treated it should be fine.

steve581581
04-08-2012, 18:45
IMO the expiration date is more of a sell by date. If it doesn't smell bad its still good.

Glocks&Ducs
04-08-2012, 21:15
so to clarify, the 5 gallon water cooler jugs can last (if stored in a dark and cool closet) for a few years with no problems?

They will probably last decades. Even if the water in them goes bad, you could treat it by boiling or using one of the many purification systems or methods available.

sebecman
04-09-2012, 08:48
I have a milk jug that has been sitting in my garage since 2001 or 2002, that is still intact and holding liquid. It gets as cold in the garage as it does outside during the winter, and hotter than it gets outside during the summer, not to mention the humidity.

If I recall correctly, it has Methyl Ethyl Ketone in it.

I had one that held used motor oil sitting under my workbench for years...

and then I have had several that held water new in the case and they leaked all over my basement after a little more than a year.