Food Safety Issues/Canned chicken


I have a can of chicken breast in water that I just found in my pantry. Can I still eat it if the USE by date is 1-22-2012? The can is unharmed and looks fine.

Hi Teri,

Yes, you can use canned goods past their "best if used by" date if the can appears to be unchanged from when purchased.

The date implies that the manufacturer guarantees the product for quality until that date.  After that date, the quality may begin to change (color, texture, flavor) but this is not unsafe, just not as high of quality as a younger can.

So enjoy your can of chicken!


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Carol Schlitt


I can answer questions on home food safety, sanitation and home food preservation.


I am a former Extension educator, nutrition, wellness and food safety, having retired August 1, 2010. I am a food safety instructor for the Illinois Department of Public Health, a ServSafe Instructor/Proctor and have my own company, Safe & Savory Solutions, Inc -

National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (Past President and current Historian), St. Louis Culinary Society.

BS - University of Illinois MS - Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville

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