How Do I Know When My Food Is Expired?

How Do I Know When My Food Is Expired?

One of the questions we asked the most frequently is “how old are my cans?”, which is often followed up by “how long are they good for?” We’ve put together a short guide for you, so you can determine the age and the longevity of your Ready Reserve Foods products.            

The dates on which the products were canned should be located on either the top or bottom of the can, and there are two different dating systems that were previously used. Anything canned prior to 2000 will be labeled with a Julian date. For example, a product canned on January 1, 1999, will have a date printed on the can in this format: 1999001. Products canned on January 2, 1999, will have 1999002, and so on. Anything canned on December 31, 1999, will be labeled 1999        

The other dating system used in 2000-2009 is alpha-numeric. For example, something canned in 2000 would have a label that reads similar to 0507A, also followed by some other numbers. Anything with an A was canned in 2000, a B was canned in 2001, and so on until 2009, which will have a J in the label. 

Following 2009, the dating system was switched back to a Julian date, and that’s what we continue to use today. 

As for the longevity of our products, we strongly recommend that they are used within 15 years of purchase when stored under ideal conditions. Ideal conditions are a cool, dark, dry environment, with very little temperature, light, or humidity fluctuation. If our products have been exposed to extreme conditions, we cannot guarantee their quality or safety. When opening a product, please look for the following and discard if observed:

-Rusting on can

-Dents and/or bulging on cans

-Oily stains on label

-Products that look discolored

-Products that smell “off”

Your safety and well-being are our top priority, and we stand by our products when used in a timely manner and when stored under ideal conditions. If you have further questions, please feel free to reach out to us via our web contact form, Facebook,, or at 208-736-3352.