Most people do not know this, But as the manufactors are canning the items and or bottling them they will use several dates on them as the months of produce are canned, Does not mean the food has expired but it is time to move the old cans out and put in new. Health inspectors say most is good for 5 years although most never last that long. They check us all of the time at the Ministry. we will not put out badly dented, bulging or rusted cans at all. And our baby food is constantly being checked, We never give any away that has expired. we dump it into containers instead of putting it in the trash in case of dumpster divers.
The dates on the bottom of the can change every day by one day. The date on the can is not when the food will go bad but the date the can is guaranteed to keep the food safe.
The food will last longer than 5 years. Although it may change in appearance. But if the can is not rusted or damaged it will not kill you to eat it. Canned food lasts forever.
Of course you cannot give food away that is expired. Although we have a bargain place here in town that sells bulk food and you have to watch because a lot of it is expired. I am not sure how they get away with doing this. I assume the ones that need to know are not aware. I have seen things expired by as much as a year.
I also know there is as far as I know only one soup kitchen type place and they get a lot of food from this place so they are serving food that is expired.
You have to dump it in ways that no one can steal it, because if someone does and gets sick they can try to sue you. Which seems unfair when they dig thru the dumpster and get it out of there. I worked in a retail place once and we pulled crackers off the shelf and the manager gave me a box knife and told me to slash thru the box and the bag inside before throwing it in there.