Canned Food expiration dates, Help please

Discussion in 'General Preparedness Discussion' started by Eli-2, Dec 9, 2010.

  1. Eli-2

    Eli-2 Active Member

    I buy a lot of my canned food and fruits at a local chain grocer called Piggly Wiggly.Some may be familiar with them.I'm having trouble decifering their expiration/sell by dates they print on their cans. For example a can of Green Beans read "Y913A".Is that Sept 2013 or something totally different.I have tried to access their website for help and their distribution center @ C&S Foods,but to no avail.Maybe someone else here has already solved this particular problem,if so would you please enlighten me.Thanks so much and God Bless!
  2. lotsoflead

    lotsoflead Well-Known Member

    keep the canned food cool,dark and dry for at least 10 yrs

  3. ZoomZoom

    ZoomZoom Rookie Prepper

    Below is a sampling.

    A google search for something like "decoding canned good expiration dates" will give you several sites that provide the information.

    Note: For month coding, if a number is used, numbers 1 through 9 represent January through September, and letters O for October, N for November and D for December. If letters are used, A=Jan. and L=Dec., unless otherwise noted.

    For year coding, 8=1998; 9=1999; 0=2000; 1=2001; 2=2002, etc.

    Bush Brothers & Company (voice: 865/509-2361)
    Four digits
    Position 1: Month
    Position 2 and 3: Day
    Position 4: Year
    Example: 2061 (February 6, 2001)

    Chiquita Processed Foods (voice: 800/872-1110)
    Ten digits (only 6-8 are pertinent to consumers)
    Position 6: Year (A=1999, B=2000, C=2001, etc.)
    Position 7 and 8: Julian Date
    Example: A195 (July 14, 1999-July 14 is the 195th day of the year)

    Del Monte Foods (voice: 800/543-3090)
    First line, four digits
    Position 1: Year
    Position 2, 3 and 4: Julian Date
    Example: 9045 (February 14, 1999)

    Faribault Foods
    Consumers can send inquiries and product coding numbers via an online contact form, and a company representative will help them understand the coding.

    Furman Foods (voice: 877/877-6032)
    Second line, first four digits
    Position 1: Year
    Position 2, 3 and 4: Julian Date
    Example: 9045 (February 14, 1999)

    Hirzel Canning (voice: 800/837-1631)
    First line, four digits
    Position 1: Year
    Position 2, 3 and 4: Julian Date
    Example: 0195 (July 14, 2000- July 14th is the 195th day of the year)

    Hormel Foods Corporation (voice: 800/523-4635)
    Five digits on the top line
    Position 1-4: Information about plant and manufacturing
    Position 5: Year
    Example: XXXX0 (2000)

    Lakeside Foods (voice: 920/684-3356)
    Second line, second through fifth digits
    Position 2: Month (Jan=1, Sept.=9, Oct.=A, Nov.=B, Dec.=C)
    Position 3 and 4: Date
    Position 5: Year
    Example: 4A198 (October 19, 1998)

    Maple Leaf Consumer Foods (voice: 800/268-3708)
    Top of can, grouping of last four digits
    Position 1: Year
    Position 2, 3, and 4: Julian Date
    Example: 9130 (May 9, 1999)

    Mid-Atlantic Foods (voice: 410/957-4100)
    Second through fourth digits
    Position 2: Month (letter)
    Position 3: Date (A=1, Z=26)
    Position 4: Year
    Example: MDE0 (April 5, 2000)

    Pillsbury/Green Giant and Progresso (voice: 800/998-9996)
    Five digits
    Position 1: Month (letter)
    Position 2: Year
    Position 3: Plant information
    Position 4 and 5: Date
    Example: G8A08 (July 8, 1998)

    Seneca Foods (voice: 315/926-6710)
    Two digits on the first line
    Position 1: Month (letter)
    Position 2: Year
    Example: L1 (December 2001)

    Stagg Chili (voice: 800/611-9778)
    Second through sixth digits
    Position 2 and 3: Month
    Position 4 and 5: Day
    Position 6: Year
    Example: S02050 (February 5, 2000)

    Information provided by the Canned Food Alliance.
  4. Ponce

    Ponce Well-Known Member

    The food in cans are good just about for ever but for the nutritious value in the food, that's why you should have vitamins as a suplement.
  5. Clarice

    Clarice Well-Known Member

    The expiration date is put on the can to get you to discard it if date has past and buy more. A friend of mine worked for a canning company that had expired goods in their warehouse, they simply relabled. May shock you but you'd be amazed at what goes on in these canning factories. That's why we have a garden and can everything ourselves.
  6. Eli-2

    Eli-2 Active Member


    Thanks for all the great info,I knew I could get an answer here!:2thumb:
  7. neil-v1

    neil-v1 Old Member

    I just use a sharpie and write my own dates nice and bold when i stock them away. that way, i can see the date without picking up each can and holding it up to my face.
  8. worldengineer

    worldengineer Well-Known Member

    Wouldn't it make sense to just post in big bold letters the expiration date? Although I figure their are no sensible people left....
  9. The_Blob

    The_Blob performing monkey

    :gaah: :gaah: :gaah: doesn't surprise me at all :gaah: :gaah: :gaah:
  10. Eli-2

    Eli-2 Active Member

    After a day of back and forth with the distributor of the canned goods whose expiration dates were in question,I was told either throw the cans out or open them and give them the taste test to determine quality.The customer rep could not determine the dates because the codes stamped on all the cans were incomplete and made no sense to her.
  11. sailaway

    sailaway Well-Known Member

    The manager of our local food bank and soup kitchen said most of thier food is 1-3 years beyond experiation date and they still serve it. I do agree that if you are subsisting on canned food you should take a good mulit vitamin. I think hydroginated means they took the vitamins out.:scratch
  12. gypsysue

    gypsysue The wanderer

    I've always heard that if you store them right (cool and dry) that they last well beyond the date, and to watch for cans that are bulging or leaking. Next thing to watch for is off-odors or colors.

    Hydrogenated has to do with injecting extra hydrogen molecules into fats or oils to make them more solid at room temperatures. I'm not scientific so I don't understand a lot of that!

    My brother was working with a charity that was going to send food overseas, and they were told they couldn't send any out-dated food. They sorted through all the donated food and gave the out-dated stuff to the food bank, which then distributed it to Americans, who were happy to get it.