Can you eat canned soup past the expiration date?

In this article we are going to answer: can you eat canned soup past the expiration date, what is the expiration date, what is the use-by date, what happens if you eat soup after the use-by date, is canned soup healthy to eat, and how to store canned soup correctly.

Can you eat canned soup past the expiration date?

Canned products do not have an expiration date, instead, they are marked with a use-by date or best-by date which recommends the consumer to eat the product before that date. The best-by date ensures flavor and texture until that date. 

Canned products can be eaten past the use-by date but they might have a change in smell, flavor, and texture past this date. 

What is the expiration date?

The expiration date in the product tells the consumer the last day a product is safe to consume. The expiration date is not in all products. It is required on certain products that have a specific nutritional composition that could change after the expiration date. 

The expiration date is required in some products such as

  • Liquid diets
  • Foods sold by a pharmacist
  • Meal replacements
  • Nutritional supplements
  • Infant formula 

If a product has passed the expiration date, it should not be consumed.

What is the use-by date?

Best by date or use-by date tells the consumer that food is no longer fresh or in the same shape, texture, and taste as when you bought it. It might lose some freshness, taste, aroma, or nutrients but it doesn’t mean that the product has gone bad and is no longer safe to eat. 

The safety, freshness, and taste of the products depend on how it has been stored. So, if the product has not been handled correctly, it can lose all its qualities long before the best-by date. 

What happens if you eat soup after the use-by date?

Canned products have a very long shelf life. Canned soup can last up to 3 to 5 years after the production date. Eating canned soup after the use-by date has very few risks because it is hard for this production to spoil. 

Instead, canned soup might taste different or even smell rancid after a very long time but because canned soup is not exposed to oxygen it is very hard for it to go bad.

If the can is not good or it has not been handled correctly, then there is a risk of food poisoning. Some canned products can harvest one specific bacteria known as clostridium botulinum. Products that have not been properly canned, preserved, or fermented can have this bacteria. The bacteria create a toxin that can stay in the product for a very long time.

Consuming toxins from clostridium botulinum can lead to food poisoning. Symptoms might start within an hour of eating contaminated food. Symptoms include

  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Stomach pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever

The whole sickness caused by food poisoning can last one day to several days. Food poisoning is life-threatening to immune-suppressed patients, the elderly, pregnant women, and young children. 

Is canned soup healthy to eat?

Canned soup is not the best option to add to your healthy diet. Canned products normally contain a high amount of sodium. Canned soup loses vitamins, minerals, and fiber in the process, especially when pasteurized because they are exposed to very high temperatures. 

The benefit of consuming canned soup is that they are very easy to use when you don’t have the time to do it yourself. 

Some canned soup can have up to 800 mg of sodium per serving. A high sodium diet might lead to heart problems such as high blood pressure and a higher risk of stroke. 

How to store canned soup correctly?

Canned products are not hard to store because if they are canned correctly, they are very stable products that are very hard to spoil. Just try to store them in a dry place with low moisture and keep products close as long as you don’t need them. 

Once you arrive home with canned products, try to clean the can to keep away bacteria. The temperature must be below 85 F so they can last longer. 

Follow this link for more information on how to store canned products

Other FAQs about Soup that you may be interested in.

Can you eat Progresso soup without heating it?

Can you defrost soup on the counter?

Can you defrost soup in the microwave?

Can you eat condensed soup without adding water?

Conclusion

This article answered can you eat canned soup past the expiration date, what is the expiration date, what is the use-by date, what happens if you eat soup after the use-by date, is canned soup healthy to eat, and how to store canned soup correctly.

Citation

https://www.today.com/food/when-do-canned-foods-really-expire-t119977

https://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/communication/home-canning-and-botulism.html#:~:text=The%20toxin%20is%20made%20most,containing%20it%20can%20be%20deadly.

https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/food-recipes/cooking/a32099063/how-long-does-canned-food-last/