How Long Do Canned Goods Last?

13 Jan

Today Sweet Thing was rummaging through reorganizing our food stores at our current home in anticipation of moving to the new homestead. In the back of the cabinet she found this.


This is a jar of marinated, pickled asparagus which was two years out of date. I am always telling you to put back food for hard times, and part of keeping extra food is rotation to keep the food fresh and up to date. Well, apparently this jar got put back too many times. I am always reading about the expiration dates on canned foods and what do they mean. The most common advice seems to be to not pay strict attention to the date, but to use good common sense and err on the side of safety.  Open the food and if it looks ok, smells ok, and tastes ok, go ahead and consume it. But if there is any doubt, throw it out. It is not worth getting food poisoning over a $2 can of  vegetables. We put the asparagus in a colander and rinsed off the vinegar and spices, then being the guinea pig I am, I tried a few small nibbles. Umm, tasty!



It tasted just fine to me, although I am not a fan of asparagus. This version tasted like hot, spicy pickles. We also had boneless chicken breasts cooked in Gunshot Sauce.


This sauce is made in Knoxville, Tennessee. I would describe it as mostly vinegar, with a LOT of dry rub bar-b-que spices. It really has a kick, I guess that is why they named it Gunshot Sauce.


The chicken was delicious! So along with the pickled asparagus, this was our lunch today. I a writing this post just after lunch and scheduling it to go out this evening. If this turns out to be my last post, you will know to beware of two-year out of date asparagus. More later! Maybe.


6 Responses to “How Long Do Canned Goods Last?”

  1. Brigid January 14, 2013 at 6:58 pm #

    I have a friend that’s in the can industry and they say that for canned goods anyway, you can use them months past the date on the can. But always make sure the can is intact, and there has not been any punctures even tiny ones.

    • doublebhomestead January 14, 2013 at 8:47 pm #

      Brigid, thanks for stopping by. I have been told to be careful with dented cans, but otherwise just use common sense and good judgement.

  2. michigan doug January 14, 2013 at 6:59 pm #

    in my humble experience the best use date does’nt really mean a whole lot.i’ve got canned stuff thats 6 years past thats’s all about the cans condition.

    • doublebhomestead January 14, 2013 at 8:50 pm #

      Doug, thanks for stopping by. I am pretty frugal, but I don’t know if I would want to try cans 6 years out of date. The food might be safe, but wouldn’t it have a definite metallic whang taste?

      • michigan doug January 15, 2013 at 6:12 pm #

        nope.most cans have a liner.a few months ago i took some pictures of some peas that looked and tasted like they were just canned.if i find your e-mail (and the pics)i’ll send them to you.

    • Swamp Dog January 15, 2013 at 11:09 pm #

      My e-mail is You can send them to me there.

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