I've been cleaning a lot recently, mainly to get rid of stuff that I no longer need (like a ton of books). Today I ran across some old canned food in my kitchen.

Two cans of pineapple chunks. I searched the can for an expiration date and then noticed the top:

Best Used By: Feb 2002

Needless to say, they're gone now.

I think that is a personal record. I doubt there's any older food left in my kitchen.

At least I hope not.

Posted by jzawodn at July 03, 2004 04:14 PM

Reader Comments
# Derek said:

I was doing something similar a couple weeks ago. Found a jar of salsa (I don't eat salsa, can't stand it)... The ex-wife bought it when we were still living in California. (that would be three years ago). Found a different can of stuff that was from "Jewel/Osco" (which is the local grocery store chain in Chicago we used to shop at, which would go back to 1997-1998 timeframe for when it was purchased).

But they're canned goods, in theory they're good forever, right? Isn't that why you're supposed to stock your fallout shelter with them? :-)

on July 3, 2004 04:37 PM
# Daniel Farinha said:

Hehe, you think that's bad?
No names to protect the innocent, but I was once in this place where I found an unused grocery product with 'Best Before' 1984. This was in 1996 :)

on July 3, 2004 04:45 PM
# Daniel Drucker said:


I visited my greataunt in 1992 with my mother. We found food in her fridge made by companies out of business since the 70s.

on July 3, 2004 05:24 PM
# The Shamrockshire Eagle, editor and sole proprietor of said:

Most canned food is viable for years after the expiry date. The date
printed on the can is absurdly pessimistic, so as to cover the
canning comany "just in case"; so so eat up your pinneaple chunks,
they're good for you!

on July 3, 2004 06:25 PM
# david said:

I can imagine it now..

"My uptime is better than yours!"
"No mines is!"
"223 days! Take that!"

"My hard disk is longer than yours!" (Intentional)
"So what! Mine is bigger!"
"Longer, bigger..so what?!"
"Well I have all of mine configured in a 2.6TB SAN setup!! Take that!!"

"I'd got older canned foods than you do!"
"So what, i've got more than you!"
"I've had canned s**t since like 1832!"
"So what? I've got canned food from 1721!"


on July 3, 2004 06:31 PM
# Jim said:

Hey, I think I have you all beat. About six months ago, I was cleaning tins out, and I found tins that were twelve years out of date.

Not that bad you think?

We've been living in this house for only ten years. No, I don't know how it happened.

on July 3, 2004 06:33 PM
# Charles said:

Canned goods last almost forever, with a notable exception of acidic fruits. The acid attacks the solder in the can joints, leaching heavy metals into the fruit. This is just one of the obscure, almost useless facts you learn when your grandfather was a USDA Inspector specializing in canning factories.

That being said, it probably wouldn't have hurt you to eat the pineapple, as long as you don't eat expired canned pineapple every day.

on July 3, 2004 08:41 PM
# Alden Bates said:

I consumed some fruit juice yesterday which expired in 2000... it had been sitting in the freezer and was mostly frozen...

on July 3, 2004 11:14 PM
# philip said:

Flying back from bombay to bangalore today. The water distributed on the plane had been packed more than a week ago. I don't know about others, but I've found that water left in a bottle for more than a couple of days seems to have both odour and taste. Not the way I like it.

I stuck to the 'fresh' lime juice packed at 1600hrs the day before.

on July 4, 2004 10:03 PM
# Dirk said:

Couldn't happen to me. Somehow I always manage to eat the stuff before it's even supposed to be eaten.

on July 8, 2004 09:23 AM
# ROn jon said:

we recently bought a house (2005) with about 100 lbs of 'earth quake' food from 1995. the tomato and other acidic producs are shite but the fish and less acidic stuff seems OK . Some of it looks a few shades different from its original color though. I think we'll see if the food bank wants it.

on February 3, 2005 01:12 PM
# Andy said:

Me and a good friend of mine where cleaning out this old house and stumbled upon a nice looking box of Civil Defence bomb shelter food. The tin of crackers and the freeze dried stuff was still edible! The crackers where not stale, the assorted candies where delicious. The hot chocolate was pretty good too. All canned in a special vaccum tin. Also found a sealed box of gobstoppers, circa 1978. Still good. Ate a can of Chef Boyardee pasta from 2000 and it was alright, a little tinny but good.

on July 2, 2005 08:58 PM
# George said:

I have all of you beat - back in the mid-nineties I opened, heated and consumed a can of "Friels" brand cream corn that had been sitting forlorn in a homemade fallout shelter from the mid 60's.
As the can had no zip code for the address of the packing factory in Queenstown, Maryland, nor a upc barcode - one would estimate the corn was from circa 1963 at the latest.
The stuff was a tad tinny, but not altogether bad, considering the extreme age - at least 30 years old by my estimate.
Why did I eat it, you may ask?
To prove to a unbelieving friend that canned goods keep for a hell of a lot longer than the "expiration date" printed on cans today.
In my case the can had no expiration date; I assume, in those days, they expected one to consume it within a "reasonable" period of time.
Proving my point, I'm still alive and no worse for wear, at least when it comes to eating ancient cream corn...:)

on July 17, 2005 09:41 PM
# Rasmus said:

Hmm. That sounds pretty nice. Was the food getting to be so old that you can't really breathe? I remember my food used to be - Then I got one of these Food'o'matics, and now it's so nice. They really returned me to the real life.

Thanks for your time,


on July 22, 2006 04:00 AM
# Wanda said:

How long is a bottle of lime juice good? I bought a bottle in Key West over a year ago, and of course, the rest is still in my fridge. Should I use it or dump it?

on February 25, 2008 10:43 AM
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