Read The Expiration Dates On Canned Food

Most food products today come with a “best by” date. This is not actually an expiration date, but more like a time in which the contents will be best to consume. It is recommended that you treat the dates as expiration dates for safety and best quality. However, the date format or location can sometimes be confusing or hard to find. Add this to my Recipe Box.


1. Search through your pantry for canned goods that were not recently purchased. These are generally at the back of the shelf.

2. Pick up the can and inspect the top and bottom for text printed on the can itself, not the label.

3. Look for the phrase “best by” in the text.

4. Find the date after the phrase. The date may also be alone, without the phrase.

5. Notice the date format used and interpret the “best by” or expiration date accordingly. Most cans list the date in a standard MM/DD/YYYY format, some with or without slashes. Others only list the month and year 12-2008, or Dec/2008.

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