When A Cardiff Food Bank Received A Surprising Donation, Workers Turned It Into A Teachable Moment

It's always best to check expiration dates prior to donating food.

Donating food to those in need is a kind and noble act, especially in the wake of the numerous recent natural disasters, but as one food bank in Wales has now borne witness to more than once, it also requires those looking to donate goods to keep some crucial best practices in mind before opening their cupboards to help others.

Earlier this month the Cardiff Foodbank received canned goods that had grossly exceeded their expiration dates. According to The Sun, the organization processed one donation which contained canned foods that expired over three decades ago, including a 35-year-old serving of canned corn and a can of kidney soup that dates back to at least 46 years ago. 

Upon receiving the aged donation, a woman affiliated with the food bank opened the can of corn to see how well it had held up. As you can see from the video below, the corn looked surprisingly fresh but the fizzy sound the can made when it was opened coupled with the "very strong metallic smell" the corn had when it was poured out meant it likely wasn't safe for consumption.


As the woman kindly explained, expired donations are often the result of cupboards being cleaned out during the harvest or after a relative's death. "People are kind in donating food to us," the woman said. "Just perhaps not the out of date ones."

In fact, the aforementioned helping of Heinz kidney soup was so old the company confirmed it had been discontinued more than 35 years ago. The "10d" price sticker on the soup can is also reportedly indicative of a pricing system that hasn't been used in the U.K. since 1971. For those keeping track, that means the soup is at least as old as Scottish actor David Tennant.

The Cardiff Foodbank took the opportunity to encourage those making a donation to double check and ensure the food they are providing hasn't yet reached its expiration date.

According to the Washington State Department of Health, foods not suitable for donation include home canned, vacuum-packed or pickled foods, foods in soiled containers, perishable foods past a "use by" date, foods in sharply dented or rusty cans, foods in opened or torn containers exposing the food to potential contamination, unpasteurized milk, foods with an "off" odor, and foods prepared, cooked, cooled, or reheated at home. 

The city of Austin, Texas has similar restrictions and also prohibits the donation of packaged foods with a missing or incomplete source/manufacturer label, and distressed foods — foods that have been exposed to fire, flooding, excessive heat, smoke, radiation, other environmental contamination

Since rules and restrictions on donated foods may vary slightly from state to state and country to country, it's always best to check with your local food bank before cleaning out your pantry and preparing a donation. 

More From A Plus


Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest news and exclusive updates.