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Canned foods: purchasing and storing

Airtight sealing food in containers with heat and/or chemical treatments is an effective method of preserving food. Foods like fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, or a combination of these foods (like meat and vegetable condensed soup, sauces, and fruit salad) can be safely stored in airtight sealed containers.

How are canned foods made commercially?

Canned foods are a type of food that is processed and sealed in an airtight container. Canning is a method of food preservation that involves sealing food in a container, heating the contents to kill any spoilage or food-borne illness-causing organisms, and then creating a vacuum seal. This seal prevents new bacteria from entering and spoiling the food. Canned foods can be stored for long periods and do not require refrigeration.

How long can I keep canned foods?

Canned foods may slowly change over time, depending on storage conditions and the food’s natural composition. To get the best shelf life, canned foods should be kept in a cool, dry place. For the best results, it’s recommended that you periodically refresh your supplies of canned food.

There is usually a best-before or use-by date on canned goods

Foods consumed before a certain date must include a use-by date due to safety concerns. Do not buy or eat food that is past its expiration date. The product’s pinnacle of quality is indicated by a “best-before” date. The product can still be purchased and consumed without risk after the sell-by or use-by date. If a canned food has a shelf life of more than two years, it is not required to have a “best by” date. Canned goods can be stored for a long time without spoiling because of their airtight packaging.

How do I store canned foods at home?

Check the label of the product for any storage instructions. Some products may require special storage conditions for health and safety reasons, so check the label. A cool, dry place is generally fine if no storage instructions are provided. Be careful when handling canned goods so you don’t dent or damage the can’s seal. Also, try to rotate the food in your pantry, so you use the older stock first.

How do I select canned foods?

Make sure to check food containers for signs of damage before purchasing them. This includes swelling or leakage, rust, scratches, broken seals, dents or other damage, or damaged seams. Do not buy the food if you see any of these problems.

Before opening

Before using a canned food product, always inspect the container for signs of damage. If the container is damaged, do not use or taste the food inside. Wipe or wash the top of the container before opening it, and be sure to use a sharp, clean can opener. After opening the container, wash the can opener and all preparation surfaces and utensils in warm soapy water. When handling any food, always practice good hygiene as if you were handling fresh food. Using foods pantry cabinets to organize your canned food is also good.

After opening

If the food in the can look or smells abnormal, throw it out. This goes for if you see any rust inside a metal can or lid. Don’t try to taste the food, either. Canned foods are often very perishable and can go bad quickly once opened. So, opened canned foods should be handled like fresh foods. Only store them for as long as you would the un-canned version. If you’re not going to use the food immediately, empty the contents into a clean plastic or glass container. Then cover and store it in the fridge.

What should I do if I have any reason to believe one of these foods is causing me trouble?

You should report any products that you are doubtful about to the manufacturer. If you have any concerns about a particular food, you can alert the food enforcement agency in your state, territory, or region.

What about foods in containers other than cans?

Manufacturers use packaging options for food products, including glass jars, plastic tubs, flexible pouches, and ultra-high-temperature (UHT) cartons. These packages often require similar processing to canned foods, and like canned foods, they can spoil quickly after opening. Always check for date marks on these products before use, and discard any food that shows signs of damaged packaging or sealing. Any flexible pouch or carton that has leaked, swollen, or is under pressure should not be opened.

Have you ever tried a pantry can holder?

Did you know that your pantry can holder is the perfect way to organize your cans and keep them within easy reach? Its sleek design and sturdy construction make it both functional and stylish. The clear plastic lets you see what is inside each can, so you can easily find what you need. The can holder is also stackable, so you can create more space in your pantry if needed. Let’s get your hand on one of these now.

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