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Last Updated: Wednesday, 8 February 2006, 13:32 GMT
Husband eats 50-year-old chicken
Beryl and Les Lailey with the 50-year-old tin of chicken - courtesy of MEN Syndication
Beryl and Les Lailey had kept the tin since their wedding
A man celebrated his golden wedding anniversary by eating a 50-year-old tin of chicken.

Les and Beryl Lailey, of Denton, Gtr Manchester, were given the chicken in a hamper on their wedding day in 1956.

The Buxted Chicken tin remained in their kitchen cupboard until the couple marked 50 years together this month.

"We kept it safe, and I always said 'on my 50th wedding anniversary I'm going to eat that chicken' - so I did," said former soldier, Mr Lailey, aged 73.

"When we got married I'd just come out of the Army and we had very little money, so we did our own buffet.

"We got a hamper as a present and included in it was this whole chicken in a tin. We didn't use it and packed it away and kept it."

Tight vacuum

Mr Lailey, a former soldier, said he had not felt ill since eating the chicken.

The Laileys' wedding day
The couple were given the chicken on their wedding day

The pair met at an Irish pub in Hulme, Manchester.

"I had to go back to the Army almost straight after we met, but we kept in touch by writing letters. I came home and we got married," Mr Lailey added.

Prof Eunice Taylor, a food safety expert at the University of Salford, said: "Canned food can last indefinitely if it has been sealed properly, although the normal shelf life is about six months.

"If it's done at high temperatures and under high pressure, then the process should create a tight vacuum.

"If anyone is going to eat old canned food, I would suggest they heat it thoroughly first of all, just in case to be extra safe."


BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
Meet the man who scoffed a 50-year-old tin of chicken.



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