Canning is one of the most ingenious and convenient inventions of modem man. A safe method of food
preservation, the canning process involves placing foods in cans and heating them to destroy microorganisms,
driving the air from the can and creating a vacuum seal that prevents air from getting back in and protects it from contamination.
Canning has made it possible for all kinds of meats to be preserve and stored, readily available for as long as two
years. With the numerous variety of canned meats available today, it is small wonder that canned foods are a
staple of the Pinoy cupboard. However, to ensure that you get and maintain the quality of canned meat products,
there are certain things to keep in mind.
Check for dents and leakages.
Keep in mind that dents, cracks, rust and bulging lids indicate possible threat of
food poisoning. Canned foods are vacuum-sealed and this seal prevents air from getting back into the product.
However, the presence of dents and leaks indicate a breach in the vacuum seal and possible contamination. Thus,
it is extremely important to select only those cans that look perfect.
Check expiry date.
Although expiry dates indicate only recommended deadline for consumption, it is much safer to buy canned products at least three months away from its expiry date.
Select size that suit your needs.
Most canned food products come in different sizes. Most of the time, bigger-size cans are cheaper so we tend to buy them in order to save on cost. Since storing leftovers leave room for possible food contamination, it is better to buy appropriate size of canned goods that can be consumed in one seating.
Store leftovers properly.
Refrigerate of freeze uneaten canned goods immediately after a meal. Remove leftovers from the can and transfer to covered containers within an hour or two after cooking. Make sure there is enough airspace around containers for quick chilling. It is very important to throw away uneaten food if it has been held too long or is a reheated leftover.
Practice first in, first out rule.
Store newly purchased canned products at the back of the shelf and keep old ones in front. This way, you will be able to reach for and consume older products first and the newer ones later. Canned food products usually remain in good quality for two years.
Check quality of canned food.
Once opened, check appearance of canned foods closely. Canned foods are usually safe to eat straight from the can as long as the container is intact. But if you see any sign of spoilage, such as spurting liquid, mold or bad odor, avoid the temptation to taste to confirm your suspicion! Spoiled food should not be eaten by humans or pets and must be thrown away immediately.
Keep storage cabinets cool and dry.
Store canned foods in cool and dry place, away from warm places such as hot pipes, oven or ranges. Remember that heat and moisture can lead to rusting, which may cause leakages and food spoilage.