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How to dispose of expired canned goods

Updated April 17, 2017

It can happen to nearly anyone who buys groceries, no matter how hard you try to avoid it: accidentally buying canned goods that are close to or past their expiration date, or forgetting to use a canned item that has since expired in your pantry. These expired items can pose a health threat to you and your family if not disposed of in the proper manner.

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  1. Dump the contents of the can into the garbage disposal or trash bag if the contents are within two months past the expiration date.

  2. Thoroughly rinse the can in your sink and recycle the can at your local recycling centre.

  3. Take out the trash bag as soon as possible if the contents are in a trash bag, If the contents are in your sink's garbage disposal, turn the water and disposal on until all of the contents are flushed out of the disposal.

  4. Throw the can away immediately if it is more than two months past the expiration date, or if the can is damaged. At a certain stage, bacteria and fungus can grow inside of the can and be released if you open it, so do not open a can that is several months past the expiration date or damaged. Take the bag to a trash bin or dumpster as soon as possible.

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About the Author

Chris Waller

Chris Waller began writing in 2004. Chris has written for the "Fulton Sun" and eHow, focusing on technology and sports. Chris has won multiple awards for his writing including a second place award in the Missouri Press Association's Better Newspaper Contest. Chris earned Bachelor of Arts degrees in journalism and English from Truman State University.

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