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Starting today several of us are going through our food storage, rotating, checking all cans for dings, bulging, etc. overall verifying what we have on the shelves versus what is inventoried. Fun, fun and more fun.
I am in search of an actual list that gives verifiable information re: shelf life of store bought canned items, vacuumed (food saver) jars and bags, etc.
Does anyone have a good internet source for this information.
Ultimate goal is to have on label the 'good to' date so that anyone in our group understands and a main print out of shelf life of stored items (just in case label(s) fall off or cpu isn't working.)
 

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Is this what you're looking for?

Utah Extension has this:
http://extension.usu.edu/foodstorage/htm/canned-goods
Shelf Life. As a general rule, unopened home canned foods have a shelf life of one year and should be used before 2 years. Commercially canned foods should retain their best quality until the expiration code date on the can. This date is usually 2-5 years from the manufacture date. High acid foods usually have a shorter shelf life than low acid foods. For emergency storage, commercially canned foods in metal or jars will remain safe to consume as long as the seal has not been broken. (That is not to say the quality will be retained for that long). Foods “canned” in metal-Mylar®-type pouches will also have a best-if-used by date on them. The longest shelf life tested of this type of packaging has been 8-10 years (personal communication U.S. Military MRE’s). Therefore, storage for longer than 10 years is not recommended.

Emergency Essencials says:
http://beprepared.com/education/shelf-life

Walton foods says this, http://rainydayfoods.com/faqs#time
Does all food store the same amount of time?

No. The storage life of dehydrated and freeze dried foods depends upon the product and how it is stored. If food is stored under ideal conditions (cool, dry, constant temperature of about 60˚F), it will store anywhere from 5 to 30 plus years. Mixes (pancake, biscuit, etc.) will store the least amount of time, and grains, rice, and beans will store the longest. Fruits and vegetables will store approximately 20 years, and dairy products will store about 10-15 years. For the best results, products must be stored in air-tight containers at a cool, constant temperature.
(The approximate shelf life for each product is shown with the product on our website.)
 

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As long as the can is sealed & not bulging it is fine. I have pears that I canned in 2005 that we are still eating. They taste fine. What is the reason that it should be used within 2 years??

I think a lot of the reason is that way people will throw it out thinking it's bad & go buy more. I usually don't pay much attention to the use by/sell by dates. I do rotate stock so the oldest is always going to be eaten first.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you to the above info. All of my canned jars (newbie 2+ yrs) of meats, beans & soups still have their seal & look good. FYI my food storage is in the basement at a constant temp of 70 +/- degrees (ck'd every week.) yes, I'm feeling pretty proud of myself :)

I've vacuumed sealed (food saver) everything in mason jars that I don't can myself & even those items are holding their seal. So again I feel that food storage is doing well.

Next bit of surprise. When actually counting stock I realized that there are omissions in storage, particularly in spices. So what advice do you do have for these? Salt is suppose to be forever but what about pepper, garlic powder, onion powder....?
 

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There was a piece on the news the other day talking about how much food is wasted because people throw stuff away according to the dates. Let common sense be your guide.

I just used a box of Tuna Helper yesterday that was in my cabinet that was two years old. It was fine we ate it for supper yesterday. Spices I think arent as strong the older they get but I still use them. I just opened a can of pork loin i did in 2012...flavor was great and made a good meal.
 

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Peppercorns and any spice in it's seed form will last pretty much forever too. Store a mortar and pestle for them.

I'm not sure about onion/garlic powders, a couple of years? I'd think homemade would last much better than store bought.

Good job on all the food prep!
 

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We've on a drive to eat outdated store canned food. Luckily I don't store that much store canned! I raided the pantry for a food drive and was horrified to find expired cans, time flies so fast. The 1 year outdated refried beans we ate last night seemed just fine.
 
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I found a tin of International Coffee stuffed in the back of the pantry, and stirred the petrified dust chunk into my oatmeal the other day - it tasted perfectly fine, and had an Expy date of 2009. I'm still alive, after eating an archeological dairy product.

I have some cans in there that are from 10 years ago. If in doubt, cook the crap outta them. You'll be fine, as long as it doesn't smell bad.
 

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Be mindful that vitamins A & C take a real beating in canned foods. That happens during the canning process, and degrades further over time.
 
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