FoodReference.com Logo

COOKING TIPS & HINTS SECTION

Cooking and Kitchen Tips and Hints
Measurements, Storage, Shopping Hints, Serving Ideas, etc.

  Home   ·   Food Articles   ·   Food Trivia   ·   Today in Food History   ·   Recipes   ·   Cooking Tips   ·   Videos   ·   Food Quotes   ·   Who's Who   ·   Food Trivia Quizzes   ·   Crosswords   ·   Food Poems   ·   Food Posters   ·   Cookbooks   ·   Recipe Contests   ·   Gardening   ·   Culinary Schools   ·   Gourmet Tours   ·   Food Festivals  

 You are here > Home

Cooking TipsCabbage to Cheesecake >  Cans, Shelf Life

 

COOKING TIPS

  Cabbage to Cheesecake   ·   Cabbage   ·   Cactus   ·   Caffeine   ·   Cakes   ·   Cans, Shelf Life   ·   Cantaloupe   ·   Capers   ·   Capon   ·   Carambola or Star Fruit   ·   Caraway Seeds   ·   Cardamom   ·   Cardoon   ·   Carnation   ·   Carob   ·   Carp   ·   Carrots   ·   Carrot Cake   ·   Casaba Melon   ·   Cashew Nut   ·   Cassava   ·   Cassia   ·   Catsup   ·   Cauliflower   ·   Caviar   ·   Cayenne   ·   Celeriac   ·   Celery   ·   Celery Seed   ·   Chanterelle Mushrooms   ·   Chateau Potatoes   ·   Cheddar Cheese   ·   Cheese   ·   Cheese, Pasteurized Process   ·   Cheesecake Tips  

 

 

 

CULINARY SCHOOLS
& COOKING CLASSES

From Amateur & Basic Cooking Classes to Professional Chef Training and Degree programs - Over 1,000 schools & classes listed for the U.S., Online & Worldwide!

 

 

Pomegranate CLIFood Poster

See also: Article on Canned Food History - Can Sizes

Canned Food, Shelf Life

Can

(Date code listings below)
One of the most frequently asked questions about canned food is its shelf life and "use-by" dates. The codes that are stamped on canned food are manufacturers' codes that usually designate the date the product was packaged. The codes vary from manufacturer to manufacturer and usually include coding for time and place of canning. Most manufacturers offer a toll-free number to call for questions about canned food expiration dates. For a sampling of how to read product codes, See Below.

Remember, the code stamped on the can is when it was packaged. The general rule of thumb is that canned food has a shelf life of at least two years from the date of purchase. It is recommended that all canned food be stored in moderate temperatures (75° F and below).

Many canned products now have a "for best quality use by" date stamped on the top or bottom of the can. "Expiration" dates are rarely found on canned food.

Campbell Soup Can

Canned food has a shelf life of at least two years from the date of processing. Canned food retains its safety and nutritional value well beyond two years, but it may have some variation in quality, such as a change of color and texture. Canning is a high-heat process that renders the food commercially sterile. Food safety is not an issue in products kept on the shelf or in the pantry for long periods of time. In fact, canned food has an almost indefinite shelf life at moderate temperatures (75° F and below). Canned food as old as 100 years has been found in sunken ships and it is still microbiologically safe! We don't recommend keeping canned food for 100 years, but if the can is intact, not dented or bulging, it is edible.

In a well-run supermarket, foods on the shelf will be rotated on a regular basis, so there is continuous turnover.  Each canned food manufacturer has a unique coding system. Some manufacturers list day, month and year of production, while other companies reference only the year. These codes are usually imprinted on the top or bottom of the can. Other numbers may appear and reference the specific plant manufacturing or product information and are not useful to consumers. Below is a sampling of how some manufacturers code their products so consumers know when the product was packaged. If you have specific questions about a company's product, contact a customer service representative at the phone number listed.

Note: For month coding, if a number is used, numbers 1 through 9 represent January through September, and letters O for October, N for November and D for December. If letters are used, A=Jan. and L=Dec., unless otherwise noted.

Note: For year coding, 8=1998; 9=1999; 0=2000; 1=2001; 2=2002, etc.


Bush Brothers & Company (voice: 865/509-2361)
Four digits
Position 1: Month
Position 2 and 3: Day
Position 4: Year
• Example: 2061 (February 6, 2001)


Chiquita Processed Foods
(voice: 800/872-1110)
Ten digits (only 6-8 are pertinent to consumers)
Position 6: Year (A=1999, B=2000, C=2001, etc.)
Position 7 and 8: Julian Date
• Example: A195 (July 14, 1999- July 14 is the 195th day of the year)


Del Monte Foods
(voice: 800/543-3090)
First line, four digits
Position 1: Year
Position 2, 3 and 4: Julian Date
• Example: 9045 (February 14, 1999)


Faribault Foods
Consumers can send inquiries and product coding numbers via an online contact form, and a company representative will help them understand the coding. www.faribaultfoods.com


Furman Foods (voice: 877/877-6032)
Second line, first four digits
Position 1: Year
Position 2, 3 and 4: Julian Date
• Example: 9045 (February 14, 1999)


Hirzel Canning
(voice: 800/837-1631)
First line, four digits
Position 1: Year
Position 2, 3 and 4: Julian Date
• Example: 0195 (July 14, 2000- July 14th is the 195th day of the year)


Hormel Foods Corporation
(voice: 800/523-4635)
Five digits on the top line
Position 1-4: Information about plant and manufacturing
Position 5: Year
• Example: XXXX0 (2000)


Lakeside Foods
(voice: 920/684-3356)
Second line, second through fifth digits
Position 2: Month (Jan=1, Sept.=9, Oct.=A, Nov.=B, Dec.=C)
Position 3 and 4: Date
Position 5: Year
• Example: 4A198 (October 19, 1998)


Maple Leaf Consumer Foods
(voice: 800/268-3708)
Top of can, grouping of last four digits
Position 1: Year
Position 2,3, and 4: Julian Date
• Example: 9130 (May 9, 1999)


Mid-Atlantic Foods
(voice: 410/957-4100)
Second through fourth digits
Position 2: Month (letter)
Position 3: Date (A=1, Z=26)
Position 4: Year
• Example: MDE0 (April 5, 2000)


Pillsbury/Green Giant and Progresso
(voice: 800/998-9996)
Five digits
Position 1: Month (letter)
Position 2: Year
Position 3: Plant information
Position 4 and 5: Date
• Example: G8A08 (July 8, 1998)


Seneca Foods
(voice: 315/926-6710)
Two digits on the first line
Position 1: Month (letter)
Position 2: Year
• Example: L1 (December 2001)


Stagg Chili
(voice: 800/611-9778)
Second through sixth digits
Position 2 and 3: Month
Position 4 and 5: Day
Position 6: Year
• Example: S02050 (February 5, 2000)

"Information provided by the Canned Food Alliance. For hundreds of nutritious, delicious, easy recipes that use canned food, visit www.mealtime.org ."


 

  Home   ·   About Us & Contact Us   ·   Recipes   ·   Cooking Basics   ·   World Cuisine   ·   Other Links  

Please feel free to link to any pages of FoodReference.com from your website.
For permission to use any of this content please E-mail: james@foodreference.com
All contents are copyright © 1990 - 2014 James T. Ehler and www.FoodReference.com unless otherwise noted.
All rights reserved.
You may copy and use portions of this website for non-commercial, personal use only.
Any other use of these materials without prior written authorization is not very nice and violates the copyright.
Please take the time to request permission.




 

 

 

See also: Articles & Trivia

 

Popular Pages

FOOD VIDEO SECTION
Recipe Videos, BBQ & Grilling, Food Safety, Food Science, Food Festivals, Beverages, Vintage Commercials, etc.