Safe storage of shelf-stable non-dairy milks
How many years can you safely store canned food after it is received from the truck.
Thank you for your question, Audrey
For any food, there can be both spoilage and safety issues. Spoilage is normally not a safety concern but rather one about quality in taste and/or texture.
The primary safety issue for canned food is the potential growth of Clostridium botulinum. This can potentially result in production of botulinum toxin, a very potent neurotoxin and the same toxin used to treat skin for cosmetic reasons.
The type of Clostridium botulinum that is of concern for canned products, grows when there are very low levels of oxygen. If the food was improperly canned, most strains of Clostridium botulinum will produce gas as they break down proteins and grow, which may cause the can to bulge. In addition, when the can is opened, it may have a putrid odor, again the resulting of breaking down proteins into odiferous compounds.
It is difficult to tell you that there is a specific number of years that a canned food will be safe. The best safety measures are to throw out cans that bulge, ones that are heavily dented, and if there is a noticeable putrid odor when opened.
Lastly, if you heat food, that has been canned, to 212F (100C), botulinum toxin will be broken down and rendered non-toxic.
Please let me know if you have any further questions.