Canned Food:
Uncanny Safety in the Package


Long shelf life. Canned food will be safe as long as the container remains intact. Although more canned products are coded with "use-by" dates, it is still wise to rotate use of canned products for turnover at least every other year.

Tamper resistance. Cans are one of the most tamper-resistant forms of packaging available, since any opening of the package is clearly evident. Rust spots or dents do not affect the contents of the can, as long as it does not bulge or leak.

Food safety. Food is heated to destroy bacteria and then sealed in cans within hours of harvesting. For maximum flavor and value from canned foods, it is best to use the product immediately after opening. However, if that is not possible, canned foods should be stored in sealed containers in the refrigerator to retain taste and nutrient quality.


Lean Green Chicken Chili


Servings: 8


  • 1 pound boned and skinned chicken breast
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 4 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 can (28 ounces) tomatillos, drained
  • 4 slices pickled jalapeños, drained
  • 2 cans (4 ounces) diced green chiles, undrained
  • 2 cans (15 ounces) small white beans, undrained
  • 1 cup grated Monterey Jack or sharp Cheddar cheese

For garnish: chopped fresh cilantro and tortilla chips


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Put chicken in 9-inch square baking pan. Toss with 1 teaspoon of oil, salt and pepper. Bake 10 to 15 minutes until chicken is cooked through. Let stand until cool enough to handle, then shred or thinly slice (should have about 2-1/2 cups).

Heat remaining 1 teaspoon oil in 5-quart nonstick saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and celery. Cook about 5 minutes until tender. Stir in garlic and cumin and cook, stirring occasionally, 1 minute.

In blender or food processor, purée the drained tomatillos and jalapeño slices. Add to saucepan along with green chiles, beans and cooked chicken. Simmer, partially covered, about 20 minutes until flavors blend.

Sprinkle with cheese. Garnish with cilantro and chips. Serve with rice or couscous, if desired.


Mediterranean Couscous Salad


Servings: 6


  • 1 can (13-3/4 ounces) vegetable broth
  • 1 cup packaged instant couscous
  • 1 can (10 ounces) chick peas (garbanzo beans), drained
  • 1 cup sliced green onion, including tops
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 can sliced ripe olives, drained
  • 2/3 cup Italian vinaigrette dressing
  • Lettuce


In medium saucepan, bring vegetable broth to a boil. Stir in couscous, remove pan from heat, cover and let stand 5 minutes. Turn couscous into large mixing bowl and fluff with fork. Let stand 5 minutes, then fluff again.

Mix in chick peas, green onions, feta cheese and olives. Pour dressing over mixture and lightly toss with fork. Serve on bed of lettuce.

Provided by Steel Packaging Council, American Iron and Steel Institute


Couscous Recipes


This page originally published as a FoodDay article in 1997.

Copyright © 2007, Forkmedia LLC. All rights reserved.

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This page modified January 2007

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