Culinary Fun Fact: True or False Never use canned goods that are past their “best by” date.”

“The “best by” date printed on canned foods is not a hard-and-fast “expiration” date: It refers strictly to the manufacturer’s recommendation for peak quality, not safety concerns. In theory, as long as cans are in good shape and have been stored under the right conditions (in a dry place between 40 and 70 degrees), their contents should remain safe to use indefinitely.

That said, natural chemicals in foods continually react with the metal in cans, and over time, canned food’s taste, texture, and nutritional value will gradually deteriorate.

Dates aside, cans with a compromised seal (punctured, rusted through, or deeply dented along any seam) should never be used. And discard immediately.

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