Uniform dating codes
But the only guideline a grocer has to follow in selling is the FDA's "Federal Food Code", which mainly says the food must be uncontaminated with no signs of spoilage when sold. Shelf life of food product varies greatly according to how they're processed and stored.
In fact, canned food has an almost indefinite shelf life at moderate temperatures (75° F and below). They also have another page entitled "How to Read Canned Food Dating ".
They meet in even years and revisions to the "Federal Food Code" made in odd years. Contact your congressrep (click thru to web page of individual for email addy) or senator.
I could not find a consumer site that was not manufacturer related. You may want to view and sign this online petition.
Canned food retains its safety and nutritional value well beyond two years, but it may have some variation in quality, such as a change of color and texture.
Canning is a high-heat process that renders the food commercially sterile.