If you can your own foods or buy them at the store, you know that they can have a pretty long shelf life. However, that doesn’t mean that they can’t go bad before that time. Or, if you have something that is a little past the expiration date, it is possible the item is still good, but you won’t know until you open it. Spoiled food in a can could possibly carry harmful, even deadly bacteria, and you don’t want to risk exposing your family to that danger. Here are some ways you can tell if your canned food has spoiled:
If you can is busted or has a hole in it, you definitely don’t need to eat what is inside. While it might not have let too much food leak out, you don’t know what could have gotten inside. Not worth it. Throw it away.
A rusted can means that the metal corrosion could have leaked into the food, and you don’t need to eat it. Toss it.
If the lid is bulging a little or moves up and down, the food probably isn’t safe to consume.
If the contents of your can explode everywhere when it is opened, the contents are probably spoiled, and you need to err on the side of caution and throw it out.
Discolored or Mushy Appearance
If the food inside the container looks discolored or the texture looks mushy or off, the food could have spoiled. Also, if you spot obvious mold growth on the food, toss it immediately and do not eat it.
If the food has a bad smell or very odd odor (that you know isn’t normal), you don’t need to eat it. Throw it away. This goes for refrigerated foods like dairy products, too. When in doubt, toss it.
Check the Expiration Date
Sometimes the date on the can will be the “sell by” date, and sometimes it means that the food will go bad by that date. Either way if it’s past that date, use caution.
Dents to the Can
Now a dent in a canned food item doesn’t always mean that it is bad, but if you don’t use that food right away, the dent can mess with the airtight seal on a can and compromise the food quality over time. Try to use this food ASAP/
You can’t always see bacteria on food, but using these guidelines can help you better determine if something may have gone bad. This is one reason it is important to rotate the food in your emergency kit and in your pantry so that the oldest food gets seen and eaten first. You should also keep your food stores in cool, dry places to help protect it from spoilage. By being smart about food safety and watching for signs that it has gone bad, you will know what to toss and what is okay to eat.