Can I eat this - canned won ton soup
May 8, 2014 1:16 PM   Subscribe

I have some canned Ty Ling Won Ton Soup that has an expiration date of Dec 2008. Cans seem to be in good shape. NPR seems to think it would be ok. Does anyone have any first hand knowledge if this would be fine, or would be an unreasonable risk?
posted by Sophont to Food & Drink (15 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: and adding same question for a 33oz jar of olives, also 2008 expiration date.
posted by Sophont at 1:17 PM on May 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

It should be disguting tasting, but safe to eat.

I'd throw it way and spend .20 on ramen.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 1:18 PM on May 8, 2014 [4 favorites]

Agreeing with previouses: Can? Yes. Should? Nooo.
posted by Etrigan at 1:33 PM on May 8, 2014 [8 favorites]

Dudek says, as far as she knows, nobody actually tasted this food. That just wasn't done, she says. But they probably could have. "It would have been safe to eat if the can itself maintained its integrity," she says.

"Probably could have" is not convincing enough for me.
posted by inertia at 1:40 PM on May 8, 2014 [2 favorites]

I would eat the soup if I were desperate. I have never been that desperate, though. I would not eat the olives except to continue my existence. And even then, only grudgingly and with much scowling.
posted by Solomon at 1:42 PM on May 8, 2014 [4 favorites]

I had an unopened jar of peanut butter in my cabinet from 2009 which I opened last week to taste.

It tasted like the smell of that one empty car on the F train in august, you know the one, even at rush hour no one wants to sit in it because it smells like hot hobo taint.

I didn't die, didn't get sick, didn't get an upset stomach or anything, but I now will forever know what the taste of the subway floor is probably like. I can't ever unlive that experience.

Learn from my mistake.
posted by elizardbits at 1:50 PM on May 8, 2014 [42 favorites]

I cut mold off of cheese. I eat non-moldy yogurt 2-3 weeks after its expiration date. I have no problems with eating raw eggs under many circumstances.

I would not eat your soup nor olives. (excluding end of world scenario, then I'd open it and sniff. Given our current world, I wouldn't even open it, unless I was outside and had time to kill)
posted by nobeagle at 1:53 PM on May 8, 2014 [4 favorites]

The answers here are pretty fascinating because 2 days ago we had a question about pork that had probably been cooked a week before, and had definitely been left out overnight. The answers were divided right down the middle, but most people based their opinion on safety.

Your question, though, seems to get answers based on taste and smell, not safety.

If the can is not bulging, it's probably safe. So I think you should pick based on the camp you fall in -- are you worried about safety or taste? It's probably safe. Safer than week-old meat left at room temperature for a day. Probably the wonton wrappers have gone from delicate to disintegrating, though.
posted by Houstonian at 2:22 PM on May 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

right but a sealed pressurized can is really different from street tacos left out on the counter in 80 degree weather.
posted by elizardbits at 2:29 PM on May 8, 2014

Best answer: I think it's edible in terms of being clean of bacteria, but the question is this: is there food inside? This can has been sitting, possibly undisturbed, for the better part of a decade while the liquid dissolved the solids, solids settled to the bottom, and proteins knit everything together. I would product that there will be a bunch of liquid and a solid, glistening mass of noodles, and gray pork that has turned mushy from enzyme action.

You could gain nutrition from it (c.f. apocalypse, above), but it would not be delicious. The question is this: do you want to eat what's in this can because you want to use up the can, or do you want to eat won ton soup? Because I think the won ton soup ship has sailed.

Your profile says you live in NYC, so do this: pick up a rock, and throw it in a random direction. Go directly to the Chinese restaurant that your rock hit, and order a fresh hot bowl. If you want to throw the can instead of a rock, I do not judge.
posted by Sunburnt at 2:54 PM on May 8, 2014 [47 favorites]

I wouldn't eat the soup, but I might eat the olives if they're unopened. If they're jarred olives they're either fancy enough that buying a new jar would be expensive, or cheap enough that they'll basically taste the same.
posted by dekathelon at 3:49 PM on May 8, 2014

Whether it's safe or not, I would only eat it if I were starving. I guess you could make a point that it's worth it to know--FOR SCIENCE! But come on, just throw it away.
posted by Rach3l at 11:20 AM on May 9, 2014

Absolutely open it and post a picture of what's inside -- for science.
posted by monospace at 1:13 PM on May 9, 2014

Response by poster: Sorry I tossed them.
I guess for Science's sake I'll set aside a few cans now, and post in "projects" in a decade.
posted by Sophont at 1:44 PM on May 9, 2014 [3 favorites]

I've always been told that canned goods are safe to eat regardless of age if the can is intact, and not bulging. There are cases where 100 year old cans have been opened and the contents consumed, e.g. from the wreck of the steamboat "Bertrand". The flavor is supposed to deteriorate after a few years though. I suspect your soup would have not tasted that great.
posted by w0mbat at 5:03 PM on May 9, 2014

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