How long are canned goods good for?

My s/o insists that canned goods last forever. I've had old canned goods that have tasted like metal. He has some cans that are so old there is rust on the outside. I say 2-3 years and they need to go. How long will the food stay good and how long before it gets risky?


People, the older cans did not put an expiration date on.

4 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    There is typically a date code that is not readable. Copy it down and search on the product company's website of how to read the date code. All are different and depends on how acid the food is and if the inside of the can is coated.

    A date code doesn't look like a date... it is a long list of numbers and letters... no way to figure them out with out help from the vendor. They do this for "recall" purposes and required to do it by law.

    For instance :H7C21 LYxDD is 08/21/97 and will expire in 48 months.

    H = the month, A=1, B=2, etc.

    21 = the day

    H7 = 97

    As you can see, even if you knew the key, you woudn't know if that is 2007 or 1997

    Here is an old place you can get an idea... for newer items you have to go to the manufacturer webiste. BTW, Tuna last for 5 years and some Corned Beef last forever.

  • 1 decade ago

    Depends on what kind of foods. But generally just follow the (Use By:) date on the can not the (Sell By:) cuz they are two totally different definitions. Also if the top of the can is bulging or popping out it means bacteria has formed inthe food and is dangerous to the consumer u may get food poisioning or something you won't enjoy.

  • 1 decade ago

    4ever.....the expiration on the can really doesnt matter

    Source(s): uve neva heard if theres a hurrican or tornado u should have a lot of canned really doesnt matter....its safe becuz its stored in a can
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    read what it sayson the can

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