Asked February 11, 2019, 2:10 PM EST

So can you answer when a canned item from the store has a best buy date, how long after that can you use that canned product? Also is there any information on "use by", "sell by", "best by", "expires by"? My daughter cleaned out my pantry and said that anything that was over a couple of years on the "best by", should be gotten rid of. Looking forward to some help!

Benton County Oregon food safety

1 Response

Greetings, Thanks for contacting Ask an Expert!

Generally, commercially canned foods are safe unless you detect signs of spoilage such as bulging or leaking cans. The quality does begin to deteriorate after a year or so (depending on the food). You might find color or texture changes. There will also be loss of nutritional value. See the publication at this link for more information:https://extension.oregonstate.edu/sites/default/files/documents/8836/sp50877datesonfoodproducts.pdf. It also includes Oregon-specific definitions.

You might also be interested in this publication: Storing Food for Safety and Quality, PNW 612. It has lots of great storage tips with recommended storage times. See page 3 for some more information about Dates on Food Products. https://catalog.extension.oregonstate.edu/pnw612