Shelf Life of Homemade Canned Soup

How long is homemade canned soup good for? I was recently given some that has been on the shelf for 2 years. Is it safe to eat?

By Donna from GA

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August 2, 20100 found this helpful

Somewhere on the can, maybe the bottom, should be the manufacturers code numbers and a date stamp. For example, I am lookin at a can of Campbells Select Harvest soup and the expiration date on the bottom of the can is Aug.31,2011.

You could also check with the soup comany or bring the can to your grocer and see if they can determine the experation date.

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Anonymous Flag
August 3, 20100 found this helpful

If you mean homemade 'home-canned' soup I am not so sure I would risk it after an already two year shelf life because you can't be sure the original process was done completely correctly! But if you mean manufacturer-canned goods they will be safe to eat for decades as long as no dents or bulging for cans or no bulging of the lid for glass containers, they just slowly lose flavor (and probably some nutrients) after the official expiration date.

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August 4, 20100 found this helpful

I think for safety's sake, I'd pass on it; this is a really good piece on commercially and home-canned safety and shelf life:

http://extension.usu.edu/foodstorage/htm/canned-goods/

According to this, it says that properly home-processed stuff probably is at its peak up to a year on the shelf--up to two years is pushing it, and after two years probably isn't a good idea.

It also says that we ought to be careful with commercially-canned stuff at dollar stores and off-price/ off-label stores; to be honest, I don't use much in the way of canned goods and shy away from the stores the article mentions. There's a reason why they can offer them so cheaply, and it often isn't just because they're buying lots of it at bulk prices and "passing the savings along". Many times it's because the stuff has already been in a warehouse somewhere on a shelf for years or is packed by a small or overseas manufacturer--the quality and safety can be iffy.

Source: experience, 25+ years as a retail manager

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