Question. In general, with canned foods stored at room temperature and in good condition, how long can one safely consume the food past the expiration date? Obviously, a seriously dented can or an expanded can would indicate the food is probably unsafe, are there any other signs for canned foods that indicate the food is unsafe for consumption?
You can expect a very long shelf life. Though there will be a loss of some color texture and vitamin contents. Cab food can easily out live you.
From:Canned Food Study One
A Food and Drug Administration Article about a shelf life test that was conducted on 100-year old canned foods that were retrieved from the Steamboat Bertrand can be read at the following link:
Following is a brief summary of a very small portion of the above article:
“Among the canned food items retrieved from the Bertrand in 1968 were brandied peaches, oysters, plum tomatoes, honey, and mixed vegetables. In 1974, chemists at the National Food Processors Association (NFPA) analyzed the products for bacterial contamination and nutrient value. Although the food had lost its fresh smell and appearance, the NFPA chemists detected no microbial growth and determined that the foods were as safe to eat as they had been when canned more than 100 years earlier. The nutrient values varied depending upon the product and nutrient. NFPA chemists Janet Dudek and Edgar Elkins report that significant amounts of vitamins C and A were lost. But protein levels remained high, and all calcium values ‘were comparable to today’s products.’”
“NFPA chemists also analyzed a 40-year-old can of corn found in the basement of a home in California. Again, the canning process had kept the corn safe from contaminants and from much nutrient loss. In addition, Dudek says, the kernels looked and smelled like recently canned corn.”
“According to a recent study cosponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and NFPA, canned foods provide the same nutritional value as fresh grocery produce and their frozen counterparts when prepared for the table. NFPA researchers compared six vegetables in three forms: home-cooked fresh, warmed canned, and prepared frozen. ‘Levels of 13 minerals, eight vitamins, and fiber in the foods were similar,’ says Dudek. In fact, in some cases the canned product contained high levels of some vitamins that in fresh produce are destroyed by light or exposure to air.”