Another Prepper has been helping out over at both the Montana Preppers Network and the North Dakota Preppers Network - make sure to check out Another Prepper's posts on those networks too!
So without further ado - here is Another Prepper's submission. I think you will all find it as helpful as I did.
Sell By, Best By, and the List Goes On
One of the advantages of getting more food into your food storage is having rows of canned food or boxes of dried goods lining your pantry or storage room. One of the difficulties may be when you try to keep track of what you bought when, and how long the products you have purchased for consumption in the future will actually be edible for you and/or your family. Rotation is key, so that the first food bought is the first food eaten, but even so, it can be a comfort to look at the can or box and see what the manufacturers say is the recommended "use by" date. That is, it can be a comfort-- if you can read it and understand it.A recent article that addresses possible concerns on this subject is, "Sell-by dates on food products--what to pay attention to, what you can ignore", found here. A lot of the information listed here is encouraging about the length of time you can store food. One of the things that I found the most enlightening and helpful was also a little worrisome, however--the information found in this quote:"Wixted recommends avoiding cans with dents. "All it takes with that dent is a little pinhole that you can't see," he says. "When I go shopping for my house, and I'm picking up a can of something, I will run my hands over it to see if there are dents in there. ... Botulism is odorless and tasteless, so you don't know that it's in there."It’s a good article, hopefully one that will be read in its entirety by those who have questions about the many ways that food can be labeled, as it has a lot of information and some reminders about common sense.The best post that I have seen on the Canadian system for food labeling can be found here at Hallland 1896. A lot of homework has been done for you when it comes to codes for some major brands.I am of the opinion, "When in doubt, throw it out." That said, the more information you can gather, hopefully the less doubt you will have, and hence the more food you will be able to eat from your storage. Use your best investigative and rotation skills, and then use your best judgment.
Again - a big Thank You to Another Prepper! We hope to see you around here again!