Most people get this wrong and toss out the can. The right way to read ‘Best By’ or ‘Best Before’ dates

Navigating “Best By” labels on our food products, particularly canned items, can be perplexing for numerous consumers. Contrary to common misconceptions, “best by” dates are not stringent expiration dates but rather indicators of the period during which the product retains optimal quality. This article delves into understanding and safely utilizing canned foods, including corn, green beans, and tuna, beyond their labeled dates.

Decoding ‘Best By’ Dates

It’s pivotal to comprehend that “best by” dates signify not a deadline for safe consumption but an estimation of the time frame where the food retains maximal freshness and flavor. Particularly for canned goods, items can often remain safe to consume beyond this date, given appropriate storage conditions.

Canned Corn

A familiar fixture in many pantries, canned corn has a notable longevity beyond its “best by” date. If stored effectively in a cool, dry area and the can remains undamaged, it can be safe and suitable for consumption up to 1-2 years post its marked date, albeit with possible gradual declines in quality and flavor.

Canned Green Beans

Following a similar trajectory to corn, canned green beans, with intact and properly stored cans, can be viable for 1-2 years past their “best by” dates. Nonetheless, pay heed to potential reductions in texture and flavor over time.

Canned Tuna

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