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Bulletin #4306, Is This Can Safe to Use?

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Is This Can Safe to Use?

Adapted with permission from North Carolina State University

For information about UMaine Extension programs and resources, visit extension.umaine.edu.
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Bulletin #4306, Is This Can Safe to Use? (PDF)for printing on legal size (8 1/2″ x 14″) paper

A flowchart on how to know if commercially prepared canned foods are okay to use.

decision tree – text version below

(Text version of the decision tree)

Examples of low-acid canned goods include:

Canned meat and poultry, stews, soups (except tomatoes), pasta products, potatoes, corn, carrots, spinach, beans, beets, peas, and pumpkin.

Examples of high-acid canned goods include:

Tomato products, fruits, sauerkraut, and foods in vinegar-based sauces or dressings.

Canned goods storage:

For best quality store in a clean, dry, cool (below 85 ° F) place. Extremely hot (over 100°F) and cold temperatures are harmful to canned goods.

When in doubt, throw it out!


Information in this publication is provided purely for educational purposes. No responsibility is assumed for any problems associated with the use of products or services mentioned. No endorsement of products or companies is intended, nor is criticism of unnamed products or companies implied.

© 2016

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