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Charity question...How long does canned food last?

 
 
Reply Thu 18 Dec, 2003 01:11 am
I have a bad habit of shopping for supposedly non-perishables as if a fully stocked pantry will keep me alive for years after a Nuclear Holocaust. While trying to decide whether to donate my ridiculous quantity of canned goods or just throw them away; I figured the only way to know if they were good; was to try it. So I opened a can of Chef Boyardee Ravioli and ate it, right out of the can. Now I'm not feeling so hot, so I wonder: Is it just because I seldom eat this crap anymore, or should I be checking myself in to the nearest hospital to get my stomach pumped? Also, should I toss it in the trash, or haul it to the nearest shelter? I don't believe any of it more than a year old. Does anybody know the answer?
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Craven de Kere
 
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Reply Thu 18 Dec, 2003 01:23 am
http://www.foodreference.com/html/tcannedfoodshelflife.html

http://www.y2kkitchen.com/html/can_code_decoder.html

http://www.mealtime.org/about/about_faqs.aspx#3

http://whatcom.wsu.edu/family/facts/shelflif.htm

Query used: shelf life canned food
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OCCOM BILL
 
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Reply Thu 18 Dec, 2003 01:56 am
Thanks Craven... I feel silly for not thinking of that myself.
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Walter Hinteler
 
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Reply Thu 18 Dec, 2003 02:00 am
Don't they print the date until it has to be consumed on the cans in the USA? (It's here either on the top or at the bottom of any canned food [as well as any other 'conserved'/packed food] by law.)
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OCCOM BILL
 
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Reply Thu 18 Dec, 2003 02:06 am
They should, but don't. Instead there is some code that means nothing to me. Craven's link provided that my excess foods last considerably longer than this. I just didn't want to give rotten food away. In the future, I'll rotate my hurricane/charity stash more often. LOL
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Setanta
 
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Reply Thu 18 Dec, 2003 06:24 am
I read once that some canned goods were opened more than a century after being put in the tin, and fed to animals with no apparent ill effects.

I would suspect your problem arose from having eaten it directly from the can, as opposed to actually having cooked it first . . .
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OCCOM BILL
 
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Reply Thu 18 Dec, 2003 06:34 am
Actually, my problem was purely psycho somatic. My imaginary ailment evaporated with the knowledge the food was fine. I do hope I'm never in a position where I have to eat that crap. LOL
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Setanta
 
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Reply Thu 18 Dec, 2003 06:36 am
I would urge you to donate the food if you feel you can, as many children would benefit, and children seem to enjoy the stuff.
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Walter Hinteler
 
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Reply Thu 18 Dec, 2003 06:46 am
Setanta wrote:
I would urge you to donate the food if you feel you can, as many children would benefit, and children seem to enjoy the stuff.


I thought, he was asking about already canned food?
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Walter Hinteler
 
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Reply Thu 18 Dec, 2003 06:47 am
Sorry [ Embarrassed ] for the misunderstanding Laughing
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Setanta
 
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Reply Thu 18 Dec, 2003 06:47 am
Yes, he was Walter. I only meant that he should donate the food if he felt he could afford to do so.
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OCCOM BILL
 
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Reply Thu 18 Dec, 2003 06:50 am
Rest assured, they'll be eating plenty of it... and pretty much everything else that comes in a can. I won't even be able to move it all in one trip (damn that Sam's Club). Funny thing is, I'll probably replace it between now and next hurricane season. I feel most comfortable when prepared for anything.
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OCCOM BILL
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Dec, 2003 06:55 am
Pretty funny Walter... but no, I don't can.
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Walter Hinteler
 
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Reply Thu 18 Dec, 2003 07:01 am
I remember that we children had to go to the plumber with the filled cans (peas and beans, fruits came in glasses and were "wecked" at home) - he canned them.
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Setanta
 
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Reply Thu 18 Dec, 2003 07:12 am
Totally boring historical note (but interesting to me). When the Franklin expedition to find the northwest passage disappeared in 1851, no one seemed willing to go look for them. Finally, a doctor in Upper Canada make the trek--he walked there. He finally found evidence, and it eventually turned out that the survivors of the expedition, with Cerebrus and Terror locked in the ice, had put supplied in long boats, and dragged them across the ice and the tundra. Two problems: instead of heading for York Factory on Hudson's Bay, the nearest outpost, they were headed for Montreal ! ? ! ? ! Additionally, they filled the long boats with china, glassware, window panes (!--absolutely true), window sashes, napkins, changes of dress uniforms--but not food and weapons for hunting. It has since been opined that they were suffering from chronic lead poisoning from the lead solder used to seal the canned goods they ate. In the early 1980's, some Canadian anthropologists dug up the grave of a young marine who was one of the first to die. He showed the signs of advance, chronic, low-grade lead poisoning. Even more interesting, Custer's Seventh Cavalry was eating canned goods at the time of its destruction, as well. The cans they used were also sealed with lead. Digs on the "Little Bighorn" battlefield have revealed remains of troopers with signs of chronic, low-grade lead poisoning. The main sign of chronic lead poisoning is dementia. Consider Custer's last message to Benteen: "Have the Indian village in sight, have the hostiles on the run, come on with the trains." Any man with 250 or so troopers surrounded by several thousands hostiles who thinks he "has them on the run" is more than a little demented.
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OCCOM BILL
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Dec, 2003 07:18 am
Very interesting indeed. I'll redouble my efforts to avoid consuming canned goods immediately, as there are enough people here at A2K that think I'm demented enough already.
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Montana
 
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Reply Thu 18 Dec, 2003 10:40 pm
I knew canned food was good for years, but I didn't know it was good for as many years as it is. Very interesting.
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Mr Stillwater
 
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Reply Thu 18 Dec, 2003 11:09 pm
Setanta - a very relevant point raised about that expedition and the 'lead' poisoning was that at the temperatures they were exposed to the lead-solder on the tins broke down and probably contaminated the food worse than under 'normal' conditions.

O-Raz: as long as there is no sign of damge to the tin (dents, rust, damage to seals) and the food has been stored in a dry place canned goods will last for many years. Wine sealed with permeable and even perishable corks will go on for decades.
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cavfancier
 
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Reply Fri 19 Dec, 2003 05:53 am
OCCOM, personally, I'd feel ill after eating Chef-Boy-Ardee too. One question about chariity: What if the family getting the food is too poor to buy a can opener? That would suck big time.
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OCCOM BILL
 
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Reply Fri 19 Dec, 2003 10:48 pm
Mr. Stillwater, Be very careful with that old wine. If you drink it too soon after opening it; it will taste like it went bad. To long; it will be bad. For a narrow window in the middle, it will be awesome!

Cav, I delivered a mountain of foodÂ… Your gonna have to supply the can openers!
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