New member here. I joined because I have been researching life expectancy of canned and dried foods since my wife recently cleared out our hurricane supplies and wanted to throw a bunch of food out. Here's what I found out.
Turns our, there is only one category of food in the US which has a true expiration date..... baby food. All other food is marked with either a "sell by" date or "best by" date which are related to flavor. The "sell by" date is one by which the supplier says the store should pull the item if it has not been sold. This is usually seen on dairy products and fresh meat/poultry/fish.... Sometimes it says "use or freeze by" a marked date.
For dried and canned products, the shelf life is actually much, much longer than the "Best By" date on the package. If the integrity of the can or package has not been compromised, it should be edible for years beyond the "Best By" date. According to what I've read, if it doesn't look spoiled (mold, etc) or smell bad when you open it just let your taste buds be your guide.. Here's a link to a helpful site:
https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/fea ... s-matter#1
Reviews of Civilian MREs (Sure-Pak, aPack, etc.) as well as other civilian ready-to-eat food