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deadmanglocking
07-20-2012, 15:38
Just wondering, how long do you think a canned "meat" product or something like tuna or kipper snacks would stay safe to eat. Let's say stored in a house( climate controlled) and a garage( non climate controlled) in Texas.

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mac66
07-20-2012, 16:25
I don't know about other stuff, but I just grilled some Spam the other day that has been in the basement since prepping for Y2K in 1999. It was yummy.

BudMan5
07-20-2012, 16:33
I ate "C" ration in Vietnam that were dated "1953"

They were not so yummy

But, i didn't get sick from them and neither did anyone else.

Carry16
07-20-2012, 20:26
I was there in '65-'66 and I'm pretty sure we ate a bunch from the 40's. Peaches and fruit cocktail were pretty good IIRC. We eventually got K rations which were better.

And, I used to live in north central Illinois, but I excaped 15 years ago ;-)

quake
07-21-2012, 06:40
Just wondering, how long do you think a canned "meat" product or something like tuna or kipper snacks would stay safe to eat. Let's say stored in a house( climate controlled) and a garage( non climate controlled) in Texas.

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In a non-climate-controlled garage, can't say since the environment would fluctuate so randomly; but it'd be seriously less than in climate-controlled. In texas your main problem would likely be heat. The accepted rule is to double the shelf life for every ten degrees below 70F, and to cut the expected shelf life in half for every ten degrees above 70F. So something that's got a useful shelf life of two years at 70F, could be expected to be 6-8 years at 50F, but only six months or so at 90F. Not exact or universal, but a good starting point; and imo makes it worthwhile to consider doing something to alleviate conditions, even if it's just a small window air-conditioner keeping it at 80 degrees instead of 100 in there.


In a climate-controlled environment, it's frankly years past the published "use by" or "best by" date on the cans. If you keep the area dry as well, it's similarly extended for even non-canned items. Best thing in the world I've found for keeping cereals, pasta, grains & other dry goods fresh-seeming is a dehumidifier. Last week I ate kraft mac & cheese with a "use by" date of 12-1-08; no problems, no 'off' taste, nothing bad about it at all. Before someone jumps on me, I'm not at all saying that it's inherently safe to eat something you find (especially something like that, with some amount of dry dairy in it) years past the listed date. Would I buy a package from the store for same-day consumption if it had that same date on it? Absolutely not; no chance at all. They can be bad to the point of dangerous. But this has been in OUR storage, not in some random warehouse or boxcar in unknowable conditions for those years. And OUR storage is kept cool and it's kept dry, running a dehumidifier set at 35% RH, and that dry environment makes a big difference. Our storage also has ultrasonic & subsonic pest repllers and adhesive traps for gnats & such. My point is just that if you can do anything at all to even partially control the environment, you can do things that have a huge impact on storage life.

Sheepdog689
07-21-2012, 09:07
From the Hormel Foods website FAQ: (They make SPAM)

Canned Products
Can we serve a product beyond the "Best By" date shown on the container?

For best quality, flavor and freshness, we recommend using our canned items by the dating on the container. After this time, the product should be safe to use as long as the can has not been compromised (no dents, split seams, etc.).

We recommend storing canned items in a cool, dry place to adequately preserve the flavor.

What is the date code and how is it interpreted on the food container?

The date code for products produced in the United States is most often printed on the bottom of each container to provide the following information:

The first letter indicates the manufacturing facility: S02057
The first two numbers indicate the month it was processed: S02057
The second set of two numbers indicate the day it was processed: S02057
The last number indicates the year it was processed: S02057
Example: date code printed is S02057

Interpretation: Produced in Stockton, California on February 5, 2007

Some imported canned products are manufactured in Brazil or Argentina which will contain a date code structure that is different from products produced in the United States. For assistance with foreign date codes or for any questions concerning our products, please call our consumer hot line number of 1-800-523-4635 anytime between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Central Standard time, Monday through Friday, or in the summer between 7:45 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 7:45 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. Friday.

What is the expiration date on a can of Hormel Chili, Stagg Chili or any other Hormel Foods canned product?

For maximum flavor and freshness, we recommend use by the "Best By" date printed on our can. However, the shelf life of the product is indefinite as long as the seal remains intact, unbroken and securely attached to a can that has been well maintained. It is suggested that all canned products be stored in a cool and dry environment to keep the flavor adequately preserved. Our food is processed with a vacuum seal and is cooked at a high temperature which makes it a shelf stable item.


What is the shelf life of a Hormel Foods product in an unopened can?

The processing techniques utilized by Hormel Foods makes the canned product safe for use indefinitely if the product seal remains intact, unbroken and securely attached to a can that has been well maintained. It is suggested that all canned products be stored in a cool and dry environment to keep the flavor adequately preserved. For maximum flavor it is recommended that the product be used within three years of the manufacturing date. After that period of time, the product is still safe to use however, the flavor gradually declines.

dcc12
07-22-2012, 11:17
In 1975 I was on my way to a Boy Scout Jamboree in a chartered Greyhound bus. We spent the night at a military base somewhere along the way. They sent us on our way after breakfast with a C-ration lunch for everyone on the bus. I remember most were dated in the late 40's. Don't remember how it tasted, I remember that I did eat mine. The Scoutmasters who were with us did pick-up the cigarettes that were in the ration boxes.

Carry16
07-22-2012, 11:24
Wow - those smokes must have been great after 35 years of aging - cough, cough ;-)

I don't recall ever geting cigarettes in the c-rations, but there were plenty of free ones sent over by the cigarette companies, along with toothpase, brushes, soap, etc.

Carry16
07-22-2012, 11:26
forum doubled up my post - sorry, too bad you're not able to delete your own posts.

deadmanglocking
07-22-2012, 16:00
Man, thanks for all the detailed info guys. Just thinking of starting to store some high protein items(just starting prepping) and was unsure


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Slackinoff
07-22-2012, 22:16
Canned goods are great prep items, especially if you actually eat the stuff and keep it in rotation. I sure do. I don't eat allot of spam, it is too fatty. I stick to tuna and soups.

Lone Kimono
07-22-2012, 23:39
I would really have to be starving to eat Spam again. My family didn't have a lot of money when I was young and that's all we ate. Thankfully, things turned around for us, but I still can't bring myself to even think about eating it. I'll store some for the rest of you ;)

benjaminblake
07-26-2012, 19:18
Canned food usually has expiry date printed on it. Read it carefully and act accordingly.

kirgi08
07-26-2012, 20:14
Those dates are way off.'08.

SFCSMITH(RET)
07-27-2012, 05:47
Canned food usually has expiry date printed on it. Read it carefully and act accordingly.


And now.. back in the real world...

Canned goods, documented to be over 100 years old have been eaten with no effect, and in fact some have been reported to be indistinguishable from fresh canned.

Besides links to company websites stating this fact right here in this thread, googlefu the Arabia shipwreck and peaches.

Canned goods are like this:

Properly canned food has no "bugs". No bugs will/can magically appear in said food as long as the container is unbreached. PERIOD. Now can the quality of the canned food go downhill? YES, but may I point out, no one has bothered to try to figure out at what rate, because, frankly, It's to slow to track, and in nearly every case I know of, the CONTAINER fails before the food product.

quake
07-27-2012, 08:11
Canned food usually has expiry date printed on it. Read it carefully and act accordingly.
I'm a fan of caution & careful actions, but kirgi08 & sfcsmith are right; the listed dates are almost mind-bogglingly conservative most of the time. Some things, like tomatoes, are pretty limited shelf-life wise even when commercially canned; but most things are good for a very long time.

As kirgi pointed out, the contents being sterilized on packaging means that they're sterile basically forever unless the container is compromised. Bacteria can't transmit itself thru steel. Things get mushy & such - after three/four years, fruit cocktail, peaches, etc, do get soft texture-wise and somewhat unappetizing; but they're still completely safe.

kirgi08
07-27-2012, 08:25
Adding ta what quake posted,If you decide ta store spaghetti sauce do it in glass.Since not all cans are lined,the acid will eat through non-lined steel cans.The "store" brand sauces are an good example.'08.