Question: I have various cans of food that have been in my cupboards for at least 5 years. Are they still good?

You should be admired because you actually clean out your cupboards.

First, toss any cans that are bulging. Those are the ones that can kill you.

In the realm of the more benign, supposedly most canned goods are in their prime for about 1 year. In your case, this means that your cupboards will be empty.

Also, get rid of any can that's dented because the seal could be broken, or any that have staining on the sides indicating leakage.

One other thing: Always clean cans before you open them to remove any contamination that may be present.


Lynne Rossetto Kasper
Lynne Rossetto Kasper has won numerous awards as host of The Splendid Table, including two James Beard Foundation Awards (1998, 2008) for Best National Radio Show on Food, five Clarion Awards (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2014) from Women in Communication, and a Gracie Allen Award in 2000 for Best Syndicated Talk Show.