How do you read the code on canned goods to determine the expiration date?



Each manufacturer has a different coding system. You can contact the manufacturer and they will help you determine what the product code means. As a rule of thumb canned goods have optimal quality if eaten within 1 to 2years. The food will be safe longer than 2 years, but quality will start to diminish. After 2 years canned products may become dark, have changes in texture, and changes in flavor. If the can is bulging, leaking, or rusting throw it away. If you open the product and it has a milky or slimy appearance or texture, rancid odor, corrosion on the inside of the can, or is moldy, discard the product.

Posted on 12 Sep 2006

Pauline Williams
Family & Consumer Sciences and 4-H Agent, Salt Lake County

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