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Old 04-16-2021, 05:18 AM   #1
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Unopened but expired food?

I have got some food that they are canned or bottled and they are all sealed and never opened. Unfortunately I forgot to use them and some of them have expired for more than a year

I understand that officially speaking they are not safe and I always understand that if they were opened and expired I'd have no hesitation throwing them away. But now although they have expired for years but they look good, and never opened.

Now
One bottle is curry powder for seasoning , expired in late 2018
One bottle is rice vinegar, expired in mid 2020
A few cans of whole corn, expired in January 2021

They are all sealed and never opened. What is the possible
adverse effect I'll experience if I use them??

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Old 04-16-2021, 06:25 AM   #2
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As for the powder seasoning, that one is likely safe to use as long as it has been sealed properly. The flavor and intensity is not going to be as strong anymore, but that's the only problem.

Vinegar can last for way longer than the expiry date, I've read an article that claims that vinegar won't go wrong at all, but it loses the acidity so it might taste a bit differently once it becomes really old.

Here is a quote from the article:

Quote:
Through numerous studies, the Vinegar Institute confirmed that vinegars shelf life is almost indefinite. Which means that white vinegar does not go bad! This is because it is acidic by nature, thus it is self-preserving and does not require refrigeration. White distilled vinegar will remain basically unchanged over an extended period of time.
Similar situation with canned food:

Quote:
Canned foods that are kept in good condition are actually safe to eat indefinitely, according to the USDA. However, there are several factors that may affect their shelf life, such as can corrosion and rusting, high temperatures, and other container problems. Over the years, many canned foods will experience taste and texture changes, and may eventually lose their nutritional value — which is why it's recommended to consume different types of canned products by a certain time for the best quality. (Accordingly, the "use-by" or "best-by" dates that are often printed on cans are for quality, not safety.)
So your corn can is still safe most likely.
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Old 04-16-2021, 06:53 AM   #3
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Everything cookwewill said -

Especially your corn - it is not that old (Jan 21), barely two months.

Your curry won't be as strong, and/or some flavours may stand out more. It is entirely your taste preference that would judge.

I doubt your rice vinegar has changed at all. Again, not even over a year.
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Old 04-16-2021, 09:16 AM   #4
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I don't think that "... officially speaking they are not safe ...". Here, in North America, it usually says "best by", meaning that the manufacturer is telling you that they think it will be at its best before that date. In fact, we don't have legislation that even requires those kinds of dates or has any sort of official definition of what they mean.

I agree with cookewewill and dranlaw that they should be safe to eat. Texture or flavour might have degraded some. I don't even expect that to be the case with the vinegar or corn. The curry powder might have lost potency. Depending on the ingredients in the curry powder, some of it might have oxidized and have a funny or unpleasant smell. Do smell them and have a good look at them before using them. If they seemed okay, I would use them, if they were mine.

About the curry powder. I used to detest the packaged stuff. I always found it had an unpleasant smell. Eventually, we figured out that the smell I found objectionable is stale, ground fenugreek. Most other people were happily using that powder. I think it was just old. Now that it sells faster, I no longer find that smell in packaged curry powder. So, even though that curry powder was old, it was safe to use.
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Old 04-16-2021, 09:48 AM   #5
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Spices/spice blends are dried foods. They won't spoil, just lose their potency. So just add a little extra to get the flavor you want.

As others have said, vinegar will be good forever.

Canned foods are generally fine for an extended period after their best by dates.

In the U.S., Best By or Use By dates are mandated by law, not science. Two years from processing date is the maximum time the can be used. Bottled water has a max expiration date of two years. Even though it's already millions of years old.
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Old 04-16-2021, 09:50 AM   #6
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I just tossed a bag of dried garbanzos as they had a 2018 date. Should I have kept them?
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Old 04-16-2021, 10:06 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Roll_Bones View Post
I just tossed a bag of dried garbanzos as they had a 2018 date. Should I have kept them?
Old, dried legumes in an oxygen-free container will last indefinitely. All legumes and grains will, if kept dry and oxygen free. The same is true for dried grains.

The issue with both is oxygen will cause the oils in these items to go rancid (ever eat a rancid peanut? It tastes horrible.) Moisture will allow molds, and microbial organisms to flourish. Also, proper packaging will keep the critters (mice, insects, etc.) out of the food. For long term storage, dry goods, herbs, and spices should be placed into a foil packet/metal container that has been filled with nitrogen to purge out all of the air. For the foil packs, they can be vacuum sealed with an oxygen absorbing cube. These measures will also protect the nutritional value of the foods.

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Old 04-16-2021, 12:18 PM   #8
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Not much I can add to what others have said, about the canned and bottled items. Canned goods are usually good well past the "use by" date, just look for any expansion on the lids - the danger sign, which can happen with newer cans! With that curry powder, trust your nose and taste - if it doesn't smell or taste good, throw it out. In the future, just keep out enough to use in a couple of months - the rest, either put in the freezer, or vacuum seal it, if you have one of those appliances.

Many dried items will stay good pretty much indefinitely, if left whole; when ground, something happens, and the oils are exposed, and they can go rancid. Most legumes last indefinitely -I've never had any of all those legumes I have on my shelf go bad. But I still vacuum seal those when I buy them in large amounts, just filling the jars on my shelf as needed. Most, but not all grains will last indefinitely, in whole form; brown rice and millet are two I have had go rancid, but I think there has been some processing done with those. Cracked wheat, as well as whole wheat flour, will go rancid, as well, yet whole wheat berries will last a long time. Still, I vacuum seal those whole grains, like spelt, kamut, oat groats, quinoa, plus all those legumes, in 3, or 4 c bags, or the size of their jars on my shelf, to refill them, as needed.
Bulgur, freekeh, brown rice, millet, plus a number of flours I seldom use, I vacuum seal, and keep in the freezer. Another thing that the Foodsaver can be used for, if you have one, is vacuum sealing mason jars. I do this with a few of those jars on my shelf, that I don't use as much as others, plus a couple of jars of spices and teas in the freezer - Formosa oolong, whole saffron, and blades of mace. Between the freezing and the vacuum sealing, those are as good as the days I bought them, many years ago.
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Old 04-18-2021, 03:20 AM   #9
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In the U.S., the only food item with a hard "use by" date is baby formula. All other foods have suggested "use by" dates. The closer to the date that you consume the item, the fresher it will be. I've used canned items that were four years past "best by" date. Himself and I are alive, since the can had neither a bulging lid or burst seam. As far as herbs/blends go, a little extra and some hand crushing of the bulkier herbs (tarragon, basil, etc) helps with the strength.

Here’s Why Expiration Dates Don’t Matter As Much as You Think
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Old 04-19-2021, 03:49 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cooking Goddess View Post
In the U.S., the only food item with a hard "use by" date is baby formula. All other foods have suggested "use by" dates. The closer to the date that you consume the item, the fresher it will be. I've used canned items that were four years past "best by" date. Himself and I are alive, since the can had neither a bulging lid or burst seam. As far as herbs/blends go, a little extra and some hand crushing of the bulkier herbs (tarragon, basil, etc) helps with the strength.

Here’s Why Expiration Dates Don’t Matter As Much as You Think
I am never worried that I'll die by eating expired food. This is too much.
I am more worried that if those food could change by itself over time, producing any toxin or unexpected chemicals, since many foods today come with other chemicals for preserving its quality or as addictives
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Old 04-19-2021, 07:18 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenny1999 View Post
I am never worried that I'll die by eating expired food. This is too much.
I am more worried that if those food could change by itself over time, producing any toxin or unexpected chemicals, since many foods today come with other chemicals for preserving its quality or as addictives
No, you don't need to worry about that.
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