Clam chowder in a bowl

Can You Eat Expired Clam Chowder?

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If you are wondering if the canned clam chowder you brought a few years ago is still good to eat, check for the smell and look. There are many canned foods that have been over their expiration dates but are still in good shape. It may beg the question, “Can you eat expired clam chowder? Is it safe to eat it? Well, that depends on a number of scenarios. 

It is safe to eat expired clam chowder for as long as it has no change in its odor or taste. Canned foods do not have dates to be spoiled, and it is why they are canned foods. Its only purpose is to be stored and fresh for a long time. However, eating bad clam chowder can cause food poisoning or even worse. 

Well, there is more! The lifespan of canned foods can be a little confusing, as it varies from ingredient to ingredient. Luckily, there are ways to tell if the clam chowder is still good to eat. So, keep on reading to find out!

How Long Does Clam Chowder Last?

Generally, all canned food lasts for a questionably long time. It can be any canned foods, including meats, fish, vegetables, or even soup. Staying good for a long time is the whole point of canning foods. However, there is a time for this food to die out, but that varies depending on the ingredients.

Whenever I get canned foods, most of them don’t even come with an expiration date, which means dates are just numbers. If the manufacturer wishes to set an expired date, it would depend on the ingredients stored in the can. The ingredients in canned food tend to get spoiled way before their lasting time, while others stay good past the time. 

Some canned foods, like soup, evaporated milk, and baby food, can start to spoil as soon as it expires. It is because of the particular type of ingredients added in the can – milk and formula. Not that every canned food has the same theory, there are others that can go bad for a different reason.

Moreover, it is hard to tell when and which canned foods will start to get spoiled, even if there are dates mentioned on the cans. The expiration time is more for the manufacturer than the customer buying the cans. They put those dates to track the lot number, time of manufacturing, and batch codes of the cans. These dates can also appear as codes and numbers. 

Therefore, it is hard to tell when or how long a canned clam chowder can last. The condition of the storage also plays a role in keeping the canned foods fresh and good. If the clam chowder is kept away on a dry and cool shelf, it may extend its lifespan longer. My best bet will be three to five years of lasting, or longer if the clam chowder is in a proper place.

Why Should You Avoid Eating Bad Clam Chowder? 

For starters, eating bad canned foods, like clam chowder, can be a bit alarming for your health. The intoxicated ingredients in clam chowder can really bring down your health and lead to food poisoning. The shellfish used in the canned food can produce contamination with bacteria and make it poisonous. Hence, eating bad clams is always a no-no. 

In my opinion, any food that has bacon, cream, or low-fat milk, is very unhealthy and worse if it starts getting spoiled. It is an easy guess that these already health concerning ingredients can only contaminate the clam chowder with food poisoning. 

Moreover, seafood can easily contaminate once they have gone bad, especially if it is shellfish. The shellfish in the clam chowder can help bacteria multiply and contaminate the food.

Here are some seafood or shellfish that can easily poison the food: 

  • Oysters
  • Dried fish
  • Crabs
  • Salted raw fish
  • Shrimp
  • Clams

If someone has recently eaten a spoiled clam chowder, here are some symptoms for food poisoning: 

  • Diarrhea
  • Cramps
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal pain

Sometimes these symptoms can get worse if not taken care of at the right time. More importantly, shellfish poisoning has no specific medication or cure to shorten the intoxication. 

How To Tell Your Clam Chowder Is Spoiled?

Usually, our nose can detect before us if something is wrong. We all know if a food has a funny smell or looks weird, it can only mean the food is spoiled. A funny smell is an alert to stay away from the thing or throw it away. Although, there are some bacteria with no stink yet still contaminated with poisoning. 

So, to know if a canned clam chowder has gone spoiled, the first thing to do is check for the smell. Personally, I think it is a good rule of thumb to check the cans and be sure it is still good to devour. At least I will know when to head to the grocery store and replace those canned foods in time.  

Here are some signs I look for to find out if the clam chowder has gone bad: 

  • Firstly, clam chowder will give off a bad smell and odor. If it has the same smell, it has still some time left in its lifespan and it is safe to eat. Clams never smell fishy, so if it starts to stink it is time to make a new batch of chowder.
  • Secondly, the taste would also go bad and we all know things that taste bad will automatically make us sick. Clam chowders will start to stink if it has developed a bacterial infection. However, tasting or taking a bit of it is harmless. 
  • Next, sometimes the bacteria contaminating the clam chowder can grow mold. It is a good note to keep an eye if there is any mold growing in the food. 

So, it is time to throw away that canned clam chowder if it shows any signs mentioned above. Nobody wants to keep bacteria growing in their pantry shelves or storage. 

How To Store Clam Chowder Long Shelf Life? 

Leftover homemade clam chowders can spoil if not stored properly. However, the signs and symptoms of spoiled will be as same as any bad canned clam chowder. 

Therefore, here are some things I follow to keep clam chowders from spoiling: 

Always Keep It Cold

Refrigerating the clam chowder can last for about a month or two, give or take. Any food left at room temperature or hot environment can change the state and form bacteria. Clam chowder has ingredients, like clam and broth, which start to get bad at one point when it is in a hot atmosphere. 

I have kept homemade clam chowder for about 4 to 5 days, so it is safe to store and eat until then. Moreover, frozen clam chowders can last for four months, so my advice is to freeze them to keep them stable. Therefore, even if it is homemade or canned clam chowder, it will still stay good as long as it is in a freezer. 

Store The Canned Goods

It is best to stock up canned clam chowder in a place with dry shelves. Any sign of heat source can affect the food and ingredients inside the can and spoil it. 

Canned clam chowders remain in a good condition as long as it has proper storing. Here are some ways to store canned foods in the pantry. 

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