Canned Sardines

Thoughts on how long after the "best by" date canned sardines in olive oil might still be good? I know that the date is not hard and fast, and that even food banks now take food after the date, but wondering how long might be OK for this type of product. Thanks!

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9 Comments

creamtea June 29, 2015
Believe it or not, aged tinned sardines have been considered a delicacy. There was once a Gourmet Magazine article about this. And Fairway sells vintage (French) tinned sardines at a price...
 
cookbookchick June 29, 2015
See my comment above, Creamtea, with the link to the Harold McGee article on just that topic.
 
creamtea June 30, 2015
I recently bought a couple of packages of Ortiz "Reserva de Familia" Bonito del Norte, with the date 2009 prominently displayed. I'm going to try to hold on to them...
 
Michele June 26, 2015
If you open them and they smell fine and are of the same quality you would expect (as opposed to disintegrating) then I think they are going to be fine.
 
Patricia June 26, 2015
If they still smell fine, but you're nervous, I'm sure your dog will love them! And the oil is good for his/her coat.
 
EmilyC June 26, 2015
My gut instinct is that they'll probably be fine six months after the "best by" date -- maybe up to a year. You'll probably know as soon as you open, smell and taste them if they're off. Report back! I'm pretty sure I have some old sardines and anchovies in my pantry as well! : )
 
healthierkitchen June 29, 2015
I suspect they are safe even though two years past best by date, but might not be as firm?
 
cookbookchick June 26, 2015
I have several old (old!) cans of sardines in my pantry, too, so I'd like to see what our cooking comrades have to say about your question, Wendy. Meantime, here's an interesting article by cooking scientist, Harold McGee: http://www.slate.com/articles/life/food/2013/03/aging_canned_goods_why_time_and_heat_can_make_your_canned_tuna_and_spam.html
 
healthierkitchen June 29, 2015
From this piece, it sounds like they are safe, just might be softer and more disintegrated. This tin is dated 2013!
 
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