General Question

simone54's avatar

Why does canned food have expiration dates?

Asked by simone54 (7600points) May 31st, 2009

It’s in a can, shouldn’t it last for ever?

I ate a can of Baked Beans that was supposed to be used by 2008. It tasted fine.

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6 Answers

Ivan's avatar

Because it expires.

cyn's avatar

oh oh…food poison! Everything has a start and an end. Eventually we are all going to die.

oratio's avatar

Earlier there was a problem with botulism, but I don’t know if that is the reason still. Production methods today should be safe from that.

asmonet's avatar

Eh, unless the can was bulging or rusted you’re probably fine.

I’ve eaten corn that was a year overdue once. I’m fine. :P

Just uh… don’t make a habit of it.

3or4monsters's avatar

I don’t know if this has always been true, but the plastic coating on the inside of tin cans does eventually break down and make its way into the food, just like with many containers made with plastic. The coating was made to both lengthen the shelf life of canned goods, and ironically, to keep the metal molecules of the can from breaking down and leeching into the foods.

That said, I don’t think you have much to worry about, unless you are living off of expired canned food for most of your meals.

btko's avatar

Because the metal and plastic linings do deteriorate over time. Nothing lasts forever. But I think companies mainly put them on for legal reasons so they aren’t liable for someone eating a 50 year old can of beans that have gone nuclear.

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