AR15.Com Archives
 I ate a can of Chicken Noodle soup that expired in 98
LtDirector  [Member]
10/28/2008 1:04:56 PM
Because I was down at my cabin and found it in an old bag and figured "why not?"

Worst that can happen is I die a painful death.

Well it tasted fine. Maybe a little dull, but fine. So then I got to thinking, just how long does this stuff last? Nearly 10 years past the expiration date and it was fine.

Anyone know?

(I know this has probably been brought up. But my search doesn't work here.)
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AR-180  [Member]
10/28/2008 1:06:30 PM
I am glad to know that it lasts. Sodium and a sealed can should work pretty well for a long time.
J2DOG  [Team Member]
10/28/2008 1:51:35 PM
How long since exposure?

My GF used some soup to make some crock pot stuff. I didn't tell her that it was probably 2 years expired. It was fine.
Matt_mg  [Member]
10/28/2008 1:55:17 PM
Why should it expire? Expiration dates on most items are completely bogus and are used for stock rotation rather than actual food related concerns (because unsold inventory = money sitting on a shelf, if you throw it out and declare it as a loss then you can use that space to sell something you will make a quicker profit on).

Someone mentioned canned good lose 50% of their nutritional value in 6 months I can't find the thread for the life of me so I don't know if they ever replied to the question:
Since the can is sealed where do those nutriments go?
ThePatriot556  [Team Member]
10/28/2008 2:00:32 PM
Originally Posted By Matt_mg:
Why should it expire? Expiration dates on most items are completely bogus and are used for stock rotation rather than actual food related concerns (because unsold inventory = money sitting on a shelf, if you throw it out and declare it as a loss then you can use that space to sell something you will make a quicker profit on).

Someone mentioned canned good lose 50% of their nutritional value in 6 months I can't find the thread for the life of me so I don't know if they ever replied to the question:
Since the can is sealed where do those nutriments go?[/div]

I think Lootie takes the nutriments.

Tanker06  [Team Member]
10/28/2008 2:03:48 PM
I found a few cans of black-eyed peas that I'd marked "12/98" as purchase date in a box
as I was unpacking. No bulging, etc.

Mrs. Tanker is making some veggie soup/stew up for me to can this weekend - if they look
and smell okay when I open them, they're going into the pot, and the cans to the bottom
of the garbage can.
LtDirector  [Member]
10/28/2008 2:09:49 PM
Originally Posted By Tanker06:
I found a few cans of black-eyed peas that I'd marked "12/98" as purchase date in a box
as I was unpacking. No bulging, etc.

Mrs. Tanker is making some veggie soup/stew up for me to can this weekend - if they look
and smell okay when I open them, they're going into the pot, and the cans to the bottom
of the garbage can.


Let us know!
TheSurvivalist  [Member]
10/28/2008 2:16:37 PM
Ate a can of Chef Boyardee last week that had a Nov '07 expiration date. I overlooked it when I was rotating some stuff and it slipped by.

Tasted fine and there was no unscheduled trips to the toilet.
Subconscious  [Team Member]
10/28/2008 2:24:20 PM
Is it kosher to call dibs in the SF?



I'd like to know how this works out.
Feral  [Life Member]
10/28/2008 2:29:58 PM
Originally Posted By Matt_mg:
Someone mentioned canned good lose 50% of their nutritional value in 6 months I can't find the thread for the life of me so I don't know if they ever replied to the question:
Since the can is sealed where do those nutriments go?


They break down into compounds that the body doesn't utilize. It's no different than what cooking does to nutrients, just slower.

The 50% in six months figure always struck me as extreme, but foods definitely do lose their nutritional value over time.

JoshAR  [Team Member]
10/28/2008 2:50:23 PM
Still alive LT?

pyro6988  [Team Member]
10/28/2008 3:26:21 PM
Check back tomorrow.
LtDirector  [Member]
10/28/2008 3:27:51 PM
Originally Posted By JoshAR:
Still alive LT?



This was a bit ago. So long as I haven't contracted a zombie virus with a long incubation period, I think I'll be ok.

But don't take your eyes off me.
Makarov  [Member]
10/28/2008 3:42:54 PM
I ate an MRE tomato&pasta entree that was packaged in June 1998. It tasted fine. Color, texture all fine. In addition, this thing had been bumping around in my Wife's vehicle (summers & winters) for at least three years.
loon_138  [Member]
10/28/2008 3:47:08 PM
Lt, you say this was stored at your cabin, how was it stored? was the cabin unheated/cooled, thereby undergoing constantly changing temps? did it ever freeze? id be interested in this type of information aswell, as 10 years with less than ideal storage conditions is very impressive, and makes me feel better abut some of my preps.

thanks for the info, and hopefully your still alive or not too preoccupied in the bathroom to let us know
Losing_Streak  [Team Member]
10/28/2008 4:03:52 PM
Dibs on his guns!
50UNIT  [Member]
10/28/2008 4:49:57 PM
Damnit! Beat me to it!
mstennes  [Team Member]
10/28/2008 4:51:00 PM
Almst 3 hours how ya feeling,
LtDirector  [Member]
10/28/2008 6:49:50 PM
Originally Posted By loon_138:
Lt, you say this was stored at your cabin, how was it stored? was the cabin unheated/cooled, thereby undergoing constantly changing temps? did it ever freeze? id be interested in this type of information aswell, as 10 years with less than ideal storage conditions is very impressive, and makes me feel better abut some of my preps.

thanks for the info, and hopefully your still alive or not too preoccupied in the bathroom to let us know


it was in a bag, in the basement area of my cabin. There were a lot of blankets laying on top of it. The basement area is neither heated nor cool, and typically stays around 50 all year long, and a little cooler in the winter. I never let it get below freezing in there, however, via space heaters.

In my opinion, the taste seemed a little dull, but I livened it up with some salt and pepper.
lumper  [Team Member]
10/28/2008 9:37:18 PM
The soup was fine, and so are you.
GreatDane  [Member]
10/28/2008 11:48:44 PM
I can't for the life of me find the story here, but once upon a time the English captured some canned goods from the French during the Napoleonic Wars. Said can was opened 100+ years later, after being on display in a museum (no A/C back then!) and fed to a cat with no ill effects.

10 year old soup is fine as long as the can's not bulging or anything.
warlord  [Member]
10/28/2008 11:52:03 PM
Originally Posted By Matt_mg:
Why should it expire? Expiration dates on most items are completely bogus and are used for stock rotation rather than actual food related concerns (because unsold inventory = money sitting on a shelf, if you throw it out and declare it as a loss then you can use that space to sell something you will make a quicker profit on).

Someone mentioned canned good lose 50% of their nutritional value in 6 months I can't find the thread for the life of me so I don't know if they ever replied to the question:
Since the can is sealed where do those nutriments go?
I called Nesle's, and they said thet canned food "expiration dates" are mostly there for taste. The sooner you eat it, the better it would taste. She also said that the food won't harm you if you eat it after the date as long as the can hasn't been "compromised" or bulged.

Scout198575  [Member]
10/29/2008 2:31:43 AM
Unless the can is bulged, there is no reason that it wouldnt be safe to eat. It may not taste the best, but perfectly safe.
Mal_means_bad  [Member]
10/29/2008 8:06:04 AM
100 year old meat, still good

Sir William Edward Parry made two arctic expeditions to the Northwest Passage in the 1820's and took canned provisions on his journeys. One four-pound tin of roasted veal, carried on both trips but never opened, was kept as an artifact of the expedition in a museum until it was opened in 1938. The contents, then over one hundred years old, were chemically analyzed and found to have kept most of their nutrients and to be in fairly perfect condition. The veal was fed to a cat, who had no complaints whatsoever.


100 year old brandied peaches, oysters, plum tomatoes, honey, and mixed vegetables tested
In 1974, chemists at the National Food Processors Association (NFPA) analyzed the
products for bacterial contamination and nutrient value. Although the food
had lost its fresh smell and appearance, the NFPA chemists detected no
microbial growth and determined that the foods were as safe to eat as they
had been when canned more than 100 years earlier.

The nutrient values varied depending upon the product and nutrient. NFPA
chemists Janet Dudek and Edgar Elkins report that significant amounts of
vitamins C and A were lost. But protein levels remained high, and all calcium
values "were comparable to today's products."

NFPA chemists also analyzed a 40-year-old can of corn found in the basement
of a home in California. Again, the canning process had kept the corn safe
from contaminants and from much nutrient loss. In addition, Dudek says, the
kernels looked and smelled like recently canned corn.
pyro6988  [Team Member]
10/29/2008 10:28:18 AM
Originally Posted By Mal_means_bad:
100 year old meat, still good

Sir William Edward Parry made two arctic expeditions to the Northwest Passage in the 1820's and took canned provisions on his journeys. One four-pound tin of roasted veal, carried on both trips but never opened, was kept as an artifact of the expedition in a museum until it was opened in 1938. The contents, then over one hundred years old, were chemically analyzed and found to have kept most of their nutrients and to be in fairly perfect condition. The veal was fed to a cat, who had no complaints whatsoever.


100 year old brandied peaches, oysters, plum tomatoes, honey, and mixed vegetables tested
In 1974, chemists at the National Food Processors Association (NFPA) analyzed the
products for bacterial contamination and nutrient value. Although the food
had lost its fresh smell and appearance, the NFPA chemists detected no
microbial growth and determined that the foods were as safe to eat as they
had been when canned more than 100 years earlier.

The nutrient values varied depending upon the product and nutrient. NFPA
chemists Janet Dudek and Edgar Elkins report that significant amounts of
vitamins C and A were lost. But protein levels remained high, and all calcium
values "were comparable to today's products."

NFPA chemists also analyzed a 40-year-old can of corn found in the basement
of a home in California. Again, the canning process had kept the corn safe
from contaminants and from much nutrient loss. In addition, Dudek says, the
kernels looked and smelled like recently canned corn.



Excellent info

Thanks
BangStick1  [Member]
10/29/2008 11:59:36 AM
Originally Posted By LtDirector:
Originally Posted By Tanker06:
I found a few cans of black-eyed peas that I'd marked "12/98" as purchase date in a box
as I was unpacking. No bulging, etc.

Mrs. Tanker is making some veggie soup/stew up for me to can this weekend - if they look
and smell okay when I open them, they're going into the pot, and the cans to the bottom
of the garbage can.


Let us know!



He won't be able to. He'll be DEAD!




xxTAPxx  [Team Member]
10/29/2008 1:24:39 PM



A telltale sign of spoilage is internal pressure.

If you open a can of food and you hear a hiss or feel/see pressure leaving the can, Don't EAT it.

Storing canned food in a high temp environment and denting are the primary cause of spoilage.

and as many have said before, many products are fine for consumption past the use/sell by date.

ceadmin  [Team Member]
10/29/2008 1:27:26 PM
Originally Posted By lumper:
The soup was fine, and so are you.


kill-joy
1Bigdog  [Team Member]
10/30/2008 2:23:52 PM
When I was a kid, I would go down in our cellar and bring up rusted (but non bulging) cans of soup, beans, etc. that was probably 20 years old.

They were always good to eat.

There are two main issues for storing cans and bottles:

1) Store them in a location that has the least temperature and humidity swings. Garages that are hot in the afternoon and cold in the morning are the worst storage place that you can use. Rooms that are hot in the summer and cold in the winter are almost as bad. Use a basement room that has as close to a constant annual temperature and humidity that you have.

Wine is the same as canned foods.

2)Most cans are rated at a constant 70 degrees.

If you store at 60 degrees, you will double the life of the food. Something good for 4 years is now good for 8 years.

If you store at 50 degrees, something good for 4 years at 70 is now good for 16 years.

(again provided that the temperature and humidity are relatively constant)
TNC  [Member]
10/30/2008 11:31:18 PM
A ship I worked on, all the food was well beyond its expiration date. Some by up to 6 years. Nobody suffered ill effects that I'm aware of, but I suspect that the nutritional value was reduced. We were eating this stuff every day on jobs ranging from weeks to months. Some folks were on full-time for up to a year. There was some fresh food: eggs, bread, maybe potatoes, but it probably represented about 1/4 of our total diet.


I never saw it myself, but was told some of the canned corn had crystallized sugar in it. While that's not dangerous, it illustrates that slow chemical/physical processes can take place in those well sealed cans.
moajay  [Member]
10/31/2008 1:11:04 PM
I opened one of those easy open cans of chicken noodle soup the other day, and thought of this thread. Whats the consensus on these, could shelf life be affected? Thats some pretty thin stuff.
FACTS  [Team Member]
10/31/2008 2:28:14 PM
Originally Posted By xxTAPxx:



A telltale sign of spoilage is internal pressure.

If you open a can of food and you hear a hiss or feel/see pressure leaving the can, Don't EAT it.

Storing canned food in a high temp environment and denting are the primary cause of spoilage.

and as many have said before, many products are fine for consumption past the use/sell by date.



I hear cans hiss all the time when I open them. Though I think it is under vacume and therefor sucking in air rather than expelling it.

LtDirector  [Team Member]
10/31/2008 2:52:34 PM
Originally Posted By moajay:
I opened one of those easy open cans of chicken noodle soup the other day, and thought of this thread. Whats the consensus on these, could shelf life be affected? Thats some pretty thin stuff.


Interesting question, but I suspect it's just as airtight.
GUNSFORHIRE  [Team Member]
11/1/2008 10:48:19 PM
Ive eaten WWII C-Rations before and I am still alive...
Wdsman  [Team Member]
11/2/2008 6:12:59 PM
I've had mixed results with cans from 6 months out of date to a few years. All of the stuff that was "close" was OK. Didn't get sick from any of it. The last I tried was soup about 2 1/2 years past "best by" date. Tasted awful so I threw it out and fixed something I enjoy. Of course, it was a "healthy" soup, so it may have tasted awful when it was fresh.
Tomato_Thrower  [Member]
11/3/2008 1:50:21 PM
This is an intriguing subject and worthy of more depth. I've been doing some research on the shelf life of commercially canned foods. The CanGro company (DelMonte, etc.) has this on their website:

How long can I keep canned food on the shelf and does it retain its nutritional content?

Most canned foods can be kept for at least two years from the date of processing. Canned food does retain its safety and nutritional value well beyond two years, but it may have some variation in quality, such as a change of color and texture. The canning process uses high-heat that renders the food commercially sterile. Products kept on the shelf or in the pantry for long periods of time are not a concern regarding food safety. In fact, canned food has an almost indefinite shelf life at moderate temperatures. (Emphasis mine).

Source:
Canned Food Alliance. (n.d.). Frequently Asked Questions. www.mealtime.org

Most of information I've found suggests that commercially canned foods have an indefinate shelf life with regard to safety and nutritional value. However, you might end up eating a can of goo after 20 years or so, but it looks like it will be safe to eat goo.

Acidy foods, like tomatoes or fruit juices, will over time react with the metal of the can and affect the taste of the product and perhaps the integrity of the can itself. Non acidic foods, like canned meets and other vegetables, will store longer in the can.

Of course, bulging, dented, or corroded cans should be tossed, as well as any can that when opened has positive pressure. The vacuum must be intact when the can is opened. It also appears that the colder the storage conditions, the longer the flavor and consistency of the product in the can will be preserved.

So...what does this mean? From an emergency food standpoint, canned goods probably represent the most cost effective option for long term storage. Why? You don't have to worry about oxygen absorbers or food preparation and cooking. You can eat the stuff right out of the can. Canned goods bought in bulk are a fraction of the cost of freeze dried. Also, they don't require water to prepare which can be saved for drinking. Only negatives are weight and bulk, so not a good option if you are on the move. But for your basement, this is easily your best option. Don't forget your can opener.
LtDirector  [Team Member]
11/4/2008 12:09:06 AM
Originally Posted By Tomato_Thrower:All sorts of useful stuff.


Awesome, thanks for the info! This is why I love coming to the survival subforum.
Wombat_SCSO  [Team Member]
11/4/2008 12:27:26 AM
I found the ALICE pack at my parents' house that I used when I was a cadet in Civil Air Patrol 14 years ago. It had 3 MREs, a can of pork and beans, and a can of stew in it. I wonder how they all taste...
ilbob  [Member]
11/4/2008 9:00:06 AM
Originally Posted By Feral:
Originally Posted By Matt_mg:
Someone mentioned canned good lose 50% of their nutritional value in 6 months I can't find the thread for the life of me so I don't know if they ever replied to the question:
Since the can is sealed where do those nutriments go?


They break down into compounds that the body doesn't utilize. It's no different than what cooking does to nutrients, just slower.

The 50% in six months figure always struck me as extreme, but foods definitely do lose their nutritional value over time.


Yep. I suspect the 50% number was made up. Just cooking food causes it to lose almost that much and all canned food is cooked.

Even if all the vitamins in the food are gone, it is still calories.

TomJefferson  [Site Staff]
11/4/2008 9:28:54 AM
I just don't know how we all survived back before dates and we'd have to go, "Well, that doesn't look bad."
Tanker06  [Team Member]
11/4/2008 2:32:01 PM
Originally Posted By Wombat_SCSO:
I found the ALICE pack at my parents' house that I used when I was a cadet in Civil Air Patrol 14 years ago. It had 3 MREs, a can of pork and beans, and a can of stew in it. I wonder how they all taste...

Should still be edible. I have some MREs in the basement that I *KNOW* are easily 15 y/o, if not older, and the
only thing I'd wonder about is the cheese sauce. (Even that might be good, I'm just not sure that I want to be
the tester. )

As long as the pouches of the MRE haven't swelled up, (or cans swelled up), they should be good.
albob  [Team Member]
11/4/2008 2:49:54 PM
I ate the last of the A1 steak sauce Sunday night that expired in April.
























































































Yeah, it's that good.

AB
Ranman223  [Member]
11/7/2008 12:14:51 PM
There is a diff between an expired date and a best when used by date .
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