Most people get this wrong and toss out the can. Here’s the right way to read ‘Best By’ or ‘Best Before’ dates

Labels with “Best by” dates can confuse a lot of customers. These dates are frequently present on a variety of food items, such as canned goods.

But keep in mind that “best by” dates are not hard and fast deadlines. Rather, they provide the best estimate of the maker for the product’s quality peak.

The use of canned goods—like maize, green beans, and tuna—beyond their “best by” dates will be particularly discussed in this article, along with recommendations for how long to use them safely.

Recognizing “Best By” Dates

The dates on the label that read “best by” indicate when the food should be at its freshest and tastiest. This implies that, in the case of canned goods, the food may still be safe to eat if stored correctly after the “best by” date has gone.

Corn in a Can

After the “best by” date, canned corn can frequently be consumed safely for a longer amount of time. It is OK to consume canned corn up to one or two years after its “best by” date as long as the can is undamaged and kept in a cold, dry location. But with time, the flavor, texture, and quality could all progressively decline.


Check the can for any damage, such as bulging, rusting, or leaks, to ensure canned corn is safe to eat. Do not use the product if there is any compromise to the can.

Green beans in a can

These veggies can also be safely used past their “best by” date, much like canned corn. When stored properly, canned green beans can be eaten up to one or two years after the expiration date. With time, the quality could deteriorate and there might be a flavor and texture loss.

Before using, make sure to inspect the can for any damage. Take extra care and throw away the product if the can looks to be broken or compromised.


Tuna in a can

Canned tuna can be safely consumed well after the “best by” date if stored properly. After the “best by” date, canned tuna can usually be safely consumed for another three to five years. But with time, canned tuna’s quality could deteriorate. Before utilizing the can, it is imperative to check for any symptoms of degradation or damage. When opening the can, also pay attention to any changes in appearance, texture, or smell. It’s recommended to throw out tuna if it looks suspect, smells strange, or has an unusual texture.

Storage Advice

Use these storing suggestions to extend the shelf life of canned goods:

Store canned products away from intense heat and sunlight in a cool, dry location.


– To avoid causing harm to the seals, store cans upright.

Rotate your supply of canned food by consuming the oldest products first and putting the newest purchases towards the back.


Cans should not be dented or damaged since this may jeopardize their safety and seal.

– To store canned food for a little period of time, think about moving any leftovers to a sealed container and refrigerating them.

Last Words

To put it briefly, “best by” dates on canned goods are recommendations for optimal quality rather than hard deadlines for expiration. When properly stored and free of damage or spoilage, canned corn, green beans, and tuna can frequently be used safely for longer than their “best by” dates. When in doubt, always err on the side of caution and throw away any canned food that seems tainted or has an odd smell, texture, or look. Making the most of your canned products and minimizing food waste can be achieved with proper storage and routine inspections.

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