re-canning?

Discussion in 'Food Preservation and Storage' started by Netty, Jan 31, 2015.

  1. Netty

    Netty Chaotic Gardener Plants Contributor

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    I'm a member of an Ontario based group for sustainable living, and one of the topics discussed recently is canning. One of the members has been posting photos of foods that she has re-canned from commercially canned foods that have reached its expiry date. Being new at canning, I questioned this practice and no one has been able to answer on that group. Knowing there are some very avid canners here, I thought maybe you would be able to clear this up for me.
    If something is in a can, bought at the grocery store, and it reaches it's expiry date, would it not be better used as soon as possible? As far as I understand, if a can is not bulging or seeping, and the food does not have a foul smell or bubbles it is safe to eat. Once a food reaches it's expiry date and not eaten, is it wise to open the can, risking contamination, to re-can at home? It is still the same food after all, and so the expiry date wouldn't change? And what about dehydrating these expired goods and vaccuum packing them? The items in question are chick peas, peas, tomatoes and tomato sauces. Is this safe?
     
  2. waretrop

    waretrop Strong Ash Plants Contributor

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    I wouldn't do it for a few different reasons. Firstly, re-canning those things will become mushy. Secondly, I know that many times expiration dates don't mean anything but to take something that was sitting in a store and re-canning it is not appetizing to me.

    I would feed it to my chickens though :D :D :D :p
     
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  3. toni

    toni Mistress of Garden Junque Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

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    Canned fruit and vegetables will last indefinitely as long as the can has not been frozen, exposed to heat of 90deg or higher, dented, damaged or showing rust. If someone feels they really must repackage 'expired' foods, freezing would be a better way of doing it.

    Prior to the late 1980's no food had expiration dates on them. If cans were opened and the food smelled bad, looked slimy or moldy then it was thrown out. But that would be a problem of not being properly processed, not of the food suddenly going bad on a specific date.

    In 1987 the state of New Jersey passed a law that all food sold in that state must have an expiration date of 2 yrs or less from the date of manufacture printed on them.
    Food processing companies around the country found that singling out shipments to New Jersey for such labeling was cost prohibitive so they started putting the dates on all their products...no matter where it was being shipped to. Therefore we now have thousands of pounds of good food being thrown out yearly because of an arbitrary date that has nothing to do with the life or death of the food.
     
  4. donm

    donm In Flower

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  5. waretrop

    waretrop Strong Ash Plants Contributor

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    Thanks donm. I always love to find another site to use. For canning I use pickyourown.org and nchfp.uga.edu.
     
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  6. mart

    mart Strong Ash

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    Why in the world would anyone want to do that? Like Toni says,, canned items are some of the safest things to eat regardless of expiration date. It is completely sterile while in the can. If you open that can you are exposing it to whatever bacteria is in the air and on anything it touches !!
    I can see using canned items to make a large batch of soup or stew then canning it. But other than that,, I would not.
     
  7. Netty

    Netty Chaotic Gardener Plants Contributor

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    That was exactly what I thought Mart ... A good waste of time and resources, not to mention possible contamination. Just goes to show that not everything you read about canning is good advice ...
     
  8. waretrop

    waretrop Strong Ash Plants Contributor

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    There is so much contradicting information out there you sometimes have to go with logic and gut feelings.
     
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