Meals using canned ingredients are similar in nutritional and taste value to those made with fresh or frozen vegetables or fruit.
Canned products may be stored for at least two years from the date of processing. Theoretically, canned food has an almost indefinite shelf life at moderate temperatures (75° Fahrenheit and below). Even if the can is 100 years old, is intact, and is not leaking, its contents should be edible. Although most experts agree that canned food preserves its safety beyond two years, it may have some deviation in quality, e.g. change of colour or texture.
With this regard, presently, many canned products have a "for best quality use by" date stamped on the can; "expiry" date is less often found on canned food.
If you want to know the date a can was packed, address the manufacturer. Some food companies use codes combined from numbers or/and letters which may contain a date. For instance, a code "92543" may indicate that the product was packed in 1999 (the first number, nine, is the year), on the 254th day (middle three numbers), by the third shift (the last number is three).
If the can is damaged from the outside, that does not necessarily indicate damage to the food. For example, rust or dents do not affect the contents of the can. However, if the can is leaking, or if the ends are bulged, the food should not be used.
While processing some canned products, salt might be added to enhance the food's taste. However, canned food manufacturers provide different options today. Consumers, who are more sensitive to sodium, may find low-salt and no-salt canned products.