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Last updated May 24, 2017
The USDA's FoodKeeper application provides storage advice for more than 400 food and beverage items, including various types of baby food, dairy products and eggs, meat, poultry, produce, seafood, and more.
Cans must exhibit a packing code to enable tracking of the product in interstate commerce. This enables manufacturers to rotate their stock as well as to locate their products in the event of a recall. These codes, which appear as a series of letters and/or numbers, might refer to the date or time of manufacture. They aren't meant for the consumer to interpret as "use-by" dates. There is no book which tells how to translate the codes into dates.
In general, high-acid canned foods such as tomatoes, grapefruit and pineapple can be stored on the shelf 12 to 18 months; low-acid canned foods such as meat, poultry, fish and most vegetables will keep 2 to 5 years -- if the can remains in good condition and has been stored in a cool, clean, dry place.
If the egg carton has an expiration date printed on it, such as "EXP May 1," be sure that the date has not passed when the eggs are purchased. That is the last day the store may sell the eggs as fresh.
On eggs which have a Federal grademark, such as Grade AA, the date cannot be more than 30 days from the date the eggs were packed into the carton.
As long as you purchase a carton of eggs before the date expires, you should be able to use all the eggs safely in three to five weeks after the date you purchase them.
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