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Stomach test: canned clam chowder

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  • Stomach test: canned clam chowder

    Inspired my my "iron stomach" and my earlier thread ( I figured I would seize this opportunity to do another.

    This came about completely unexpectedly. I was cleaning my storage space when I found a can of Snow's Clam Chowder with a sell by date/expiration date of March, 2009. No big deal, it's just this month, right? Well I thought back and this can has probably been following me since 2006, possibly earlier. Based on knowing that's when I would have bought "Ready To Serve" chowder, which was only at times when I did not have much time to cook; being a native Cape Codder, any chowder that I don't make myself is considered a sin.

    The storage test of this can is because it has been through unknown amounts of temperature and humidity changes over the years. The place I found this can is in itself not a good place to store food, it's my unheated, unregulated, steel storage compartment where I keep tools and automotive stuff, along with housewares and things that aren't temperature sensitive. So this has been in there for about two years, exposed to unknown heights of heat in the summer and cold in the winter. Perfect for an "iron stomach" test!!!!!

    Photos are below.

    Can appeared normal, just a little wear on the label. No bulging, corrosion, or weakened spots in the metal when I pressed down on it. Had it exhibited any of those signs, I would have thrown it away.

    I opened it and the contents looked thicker and chunkier than normal, I poured it into a bowl and they still looked like that (photos #3-4). I took a spoon and stirred it up, then it looked more normal; no odors, unusual debris, or strange colors were noted (last photo).

    I heated it up, ate it, and felt fine. That was 2 days ago. I seem to have suffered no ill effects from this unknown-vintage, poorly-stored clam chowder test. I was really worried because of the milk content, but evidently it was not a problem.

  • #2
    First off, I commend you on a great pictoral!

    Second you are a very brave soul! :)

    The best thing you can do to support the site is pass it on to your friends and fav sites like other forums, facebook, twitter etc. Let people know about us! :)


    • #3
      Those clams could have made a serious gut grenade. Congrats on your survival!
      Great post.
      Last edited by slowz1k; 03-19-2009, 02:45 PM.
      The 12ga.... It's not just for rabbits anymore.


      • #4
        Good stuph!...I can't go on a kayaking trip without it!


        • #5
          remember those old "Life" cereal commercials

          "i'm not gonna try it"
          "let's get Mikey"
          "hey Mikey! He likes it!"

          around here, we can get methusaleh to try it!
          Last edited by Brosia; 03-19-2009, 02:37 PM.
          "Be Excellent to Each Other"


          • #6
            I think its the 11th commandment, Thou shalt not eateth chowda off thee Cape. SINNER!! May the Quahog gods strike you down! On a more serious note, I prefer Surf clams, from Nauset beach in mine. :D
            "Lighthouses are more helpful than churches" Franklin


            • #7
              So what's the problem? March2009, last time I looked it was still March2009, it would probably be edible this time next year! I prefer the Progresso brand myself.


              • #8
                Originally posted by Morguns1Cam View Post
                So what's the problem? March2009, last time I looked it was still March2009, it would probably be edible this time next year! I prefer the Progresso brand myself.
                Oh it wasn't just the month, it was the fact that this can has been abused in all kinds of temperature extremes and poor storage conditions, that was the challenge. Just shows you what a factory-canned food can survive through, with luck.


                • #9
                  I recently read an article about canned meat ( on I believe) someone was asking how long canned meat would store. Anyway the story said a can of meat was found that was actually military rations from the 1800's I believe it was something like 118 years old and was still edible. I don't think anyone had the nerve to eat it so they fed it to a cat who happily scarfed it up with no ill effects!
                  So the answer to the storage question was, the maker guaranteed 3 years shelf life but in all probability it would last at least 10.


                  • #10

                    When I was in a unit that took over a National Guard armory that hadn't been used in years, we found some cases of c-rats, dated in the 50s I believe. A couple braver souls (not me!) ate some of the contents and didn't have any problems. Then again, the cans were stored in pretty good conditions most of that time. None of those cans were bulged; I've since encountered other c-rats of unknown vintage, that the cans had "exploded" over the years.