Can you get sick from eating expired soup?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “can you get sick from eating expired soup” with an in-depth analysis of the health implications of consuming expired soup. Moreover, we are going to discuss the proper way to store soup.

So without much ado, let’s dive in and figure out more about it.

Can you get sick from eating expired soup?

When it comes to unopened canned soups, they do not necessarily make you sick upon consumption once they are past the printed date on them as long as they are properly stored and the can is intact.

It is worth mentioning that it is the “best before” or “best by” date that you will find printed in the canned soups instead of the expiration date.

The “best by” or “best before” date that is written on the can of soup refers to more of quality rather than safety so the soup doesn’t necessarily go bad immediately after the best before date. 

This date refers to the time during which you can enjoy the peak quality and flavor of the soup but you can still devour soup that is past this date as long as it was stored properly.

So no doubt that the flavor of the canned soup might not be the best once it is past the “best by” date but the consumption of this soup won’t pose any health hazards as long as no signs of spoilage were associated with it.

Generally unopened canned soups (except tomato soup) last for about 2-5 years when stored properly in a cool, dry, and dark corner of the pantry away from direct sunlight and heat but the shelf life of the soups can vary depending upon the ingredients present in its formulation.

On the other hand, once opened, they last for about 3-4 days when stored properly in the fridge at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

It is worth mentioning that the figures mentioned above are the estimated shelf life of canned soup.

You should do the sensory evaluation of your canned soups to reach a final verdict on whether or not they are still suitable to consume. You should consider the condition of the can along with the appearance and smell of the soup to reach a final verdict whether or not the soup has gone bad.

If you spot a mold or organic growth in your soup then you should immediately discard such soup as it has gone bad.

Moreover, if you smell something rotten, putrid, or sour while taking a sniff test of your soup then it is an indication of bad soup.

In the case of unopened canned soup, if you spot some dent or leakage in the can or if it has a bulging lid or bulging body, it is better to discard it.

Tips to properly store soup

  1. As long as the canned soup is unopened, you can safely store it in a cool, dry, and dark corner of your pantry or kitchen cabinet away from direct sunlight and heat.
  1. Once you have opened your canned soup, it is a good practice to store the remaining soup on the shelf of the fridge rather than the door as there is a lot of temperature fluctuation at the door of the fridge that can mess up the quality of the soup. 
  1. Moreover, as soon as you open a can of soup, it is recommended to transfer the leftovers in the air-tight container or plastic zipper bag immediately and store it in the refrigerator at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
  1. It is better to store soup in shallow containers.
  1. In the case of homemade soup, you should never store the hot soup directly in the air-tight container as the moisture can build up inside the container and can provide a suitable environment for bacteria to grow, which can resultantly spoil your chicken broth. You should let the soup cool thoroughly before storing it in an air-tight container.
  1. Moreover, once you have reheated your refrigerated or frozen soup, you should never refrigerate it. The reason behind this is that when you heat the previously refrigerated or frozen soup, its temperature rises from 40 degrees Fahrenheit and that is the suitable temperature for bacteria to grow, thereby bacteria can grow at a faster pace and you should never refrigerate such soup again.
  1. You should never leave your homemade soup or the open canned soup at room temperature for more than 2 hours. You should discard the soup that has been left in open for more than 2 hours as bacterial growth takes place at a faster pace between the temperature of 40°F and 140°F, therefore there are greater chances of your soup being already contaminated with bacteria when left out for more than 2 hours.
  1. If you want to store the soup in the freezer, then it is recommended to keep it in an air-tight heavy-duty freezer container in the freezer. Thus keeping the soup in the freezer will increase its shelf life considerably (4-6 months) owing to the cool temperature of the freezer that halts the bacterial growth on the soup.
  1. Last but not least you should always remember not to store the unopened canned soup in the freezer as freezing increases the volume of the broth and if it is kept for too long in the freezer there are chances that the can even burst or leak in the freezer.  

You can read how to make chicken soup here.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question “can you get sick from eating expired soup” with an in-depth analysis of the health implications of consuming expired soup. Moreover, we discussed the proper way to store soup.

Citations

https://www.stilltasty.com/fooditems/index/16774
https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/food-recipes/cooking/a32099063/how-long-does-canned-food-last/#:~:text=So%20is%20it%20safe%20to,they%20remain%20in%20good%20condition.
https://www.consumerreports.org/food-safety/how-to-tell-whether-expired-food-is-safe-to-eat/
https://www.insider.com/what-happens-if-you-eat-food-that-went-bad-2019-2
https://www.today.com/food/when-do-canned-foods-really-expire-t119977

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