Lately I've been shopping at a local dent and bent store. I can't ever find a date on the cans. Someone told me that they take the dates off because they are expired so the customers won't know that. They said that they were told that food is still good long after the expiration date. I've tried to find out if it is legal to take the dates off of the cans.
I've found that 20 states require food to have dates but can't find out which ones are part of the 20. These cans are only 25 to 50 cents cheaper per can. The store has a sign up that says all sales final and I have purchased some things that had to be thrown away.
By Conway from Mississippi
There are no federal laws that I am aware of requiring expiration dates on canned goods, except for infant formula and baby food. Other laws vary by state, usually in regards to dairy and egg products. Some deviled ham companies claim it is safe to eat their products a decade or more after the expiration! Although they also make sure to state that the quality of appearence and flavor are not guaranteed past the date. In the end though, I feel it's best to go with your own common sense. If it smells bad, tastes funny, or has a bulging and dented can, probably wise to leave it alone. We are all ultimately responsible for our own and families safety.
Last week I found a can of deviled ham in my Grandparents basement and ate it. Supposedly it was over fifteen years old. It tasted as good as "fresh" deviled ham-terribly salty.
There is a site with more information: www.foodreference.com; Information on food safety on canned goods. How to read the codes and what they mean.
I don't think laws would allow dated foods to have the dates taken or scratched out.I do know that in my experience in retail, many canned foods are dated, but using a Julienne dating system, which consists of numbers, letters, etc. The time, date, batch, plant # is usually in the date when they use this system. Going online, I'm sure anyone can find a conversion chart or something to help you read Julienne dates.
Usually these date codes can easily be taken off with either rubbing alcohol or fingernail polish remover. I found this out when I spilled some rubbing alcohol on my can of pop. The ink on the number ran all over my counter top. So it can be done. But would they dare? Well, maybe, if they were greedy & thought they could make an extra buck.
Also, I hate to even mention it, but in my area these types of stores are usually ran by well, lets just say (at the risk of being not-politically correct) people not originally born in America & possibly unaware of the rules. (Or maybe just don't care about them).This does not mean there aren't many amazing new Americans running wonderful businesses here. It's just that these days it seems everyone is trying to make a buck. Some by hurting others. But I believe that most people are true, honest & good!
* I believe it's the law that all can's & packages must have a date code. If you can't find one, show these cans to the owner or manager & tell him you're going to report it to the health department. (whether your are or aren't). This should shake them up & make them think twice if they really are removing them! But first ask him nicely, if he can help you find the date-code. Maybe it's there but you just don't see it? Let's hope so.
I won't even buy a loaf of bread in the grocery store without an expiration date. I don't think I would shop there anymore; especially if they have a no refund policy for bad food. I don't feel their "savings" are worth the risk.
I don't know about the laws, but I too would NOT shop there if they didn't take the "bad" stuff back. I also make it a habit, if I can't figure out the date that IS on a can (some sort of code), I call the manufacturer right then and there and query the item. Most manufacturers now have recordings that tell you what their "codes" are. I don't know why they can't just put the date up-front! and I always check the dates having found many items out of date at quality stores!
When in doubt, throw it out!
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