Is Canned Food Bought at Start of COVID-19 Lockdown Still OK to Eat?

Generally, canned goods stored properly should last three to five years past the stamped date.

This time two years ago, America was going into lockdown as COVID-19 started to take hold around the country. 

It was a time of toilet paper shortages and stocking up on food. Chances are you still have some of that food you bought two years ago, but is it still good to eat? 

Blogger Kimmy Hughes of “She’s In Her Apron” has made a name for herself stockpiling food. She has a pantry filled with cans of soups, canned meat and vegetables — enough to feed her family for an entire year. 

Inside Edition sent two cans of her cranberry sauce, one that expires in 2023 and one that expired in May of 2020, from Hughes’ stockpile to a laboratory for testing to see if they were still good to eat.

“We found that the contents of the older cans were perfectly fine. They were suitable for consumption,” Donald Zink, president of food and regulatory compliance at IEH Laboratories, told Inside Edition. 

Generally, things stored properly should last three to five years past the stamped date, which is good to know since Americans waste about 25% of the food they buy every year.

“When it comes to a canned good, as long as that can has been stored at the proper temperature in a nice cool, dry place and it’s not damaged, that can can last past its expiration date,” said Peter DeLucia, assistant health commissioner for Westchester County.

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