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Is It Safe to Eat From a Dented Can?

Is It Safe to Eat From a Dented Can?

The answer may actually surprise you.

When it comes to opening up a can of beans for stuffing tacos or whipping up a quick and easy protein-packed salad, it’s a no brainer. Beans are incredibly versatile and nutritious, so it makes sense they’d be a staple for both vegetarians and meat lovers.

However, what if the can has a dent in it? Are you still able to break into it and prepare a week of meals?

Eating healthy should still be delicious.

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It Really Depends on the Dent

When it comes to a dented can, the size and location of the dent matters most, says Toby Amidor, MS, RD, dietitian, food safety expert, and cookbook author.

“Usually dents on cans are caused by the cans falling or being hit. This can be problematic if it is in the seam of the can, as it can allow the bacteria to enter the can and potentially make someone sick,” she says. So, if your can has a dent in the seam, it’s worth tossing in order to protect your health.

If there isn’t much damage, you should be okay. “If a can containing food has a small dent, but is otherwise in good shape, the food should be safe to eat,” she explains. So, if you have a can of tuna that has a tiny bend in a harmless spot and seems otherwise okay, feel free to open it up and see how it looks.

Yet, any larger of a dent is worrisome. “If the can has a deep dent then it should be discarded. A deep dent is defined as one that you can lay your finger into,” she says. Cans with large dents or dents on the seam should definitely be discarded.

Why is this something to avoid? “Deep dents often have sharp points and a share dent on either the top or side seam can damage the seam and allow bacteria to enter the can,” she explains.

And, while any sort of canned food is susceptible to dents and damage, and it doesn’t matter the type of food that is inside in terms of safety—only the dent itself is a factor.

The Takeaway

So, examine the damage if you do end up bringing home a dented can from the grocery store. Your best bet is to try and avoid purchasing damaged cans, to completely nix the risk.

However, if you drop it on the way upstairs or notice the dent after you bought it, just use these rules as a guide to make sure you stay as safe as possible.


Do you eat from dented tins?

I dont buy them, but this week sainsburys delivered my stuff and most of it was squashed or dented.

Have just opened a dented can of sardines and wondering if I should eat them.
TBH they dont taste normal, but just wondering if thats all in my head

What difference does a dent make?

I remember, probably about 20 years ago, there was a botulism scare when some people contracted the disease from eating salmon from a dented tin.

I am not usually put off by these freak episodes, but it has stayed with me and I don't each fish from dented tins.

If it was something like tinned tomatoes or soup, I wouldn't worry, especially as I could cook them to death first.

yes, sometimes i get money off is they are dented.

I assume if a dewnted can =food scare, they wouldn't be allowed to be sold

We have been told for years that eating from dented cans is unsafe and should be avoided at all costs, Unfortunately, this is a common misconception that has lead to safe food being discarded and money and food being wasted. It is true that some dented cans are unsafe, but a majority of dented cans are completely safe.

The number one way to tell if a can is potentially dangerous is to push on the top and bottom of the can. If the top or bottom of the can moves in any way or makes a popping sound, the can's seal has been broken and air has made its way inside. Popped cans should be discarded or returned to the store where they were purchased for replacement. On the other hand, if the can does not make a noise or move, it is most likely safe to eat despite any dents.

Another way to tell if a can is safe to eat is by simply looking at the can. If the can is bulging and bloated it is most likely unsafe. Cans will bulge and bloat when bacteria begins to produce gasses which push the can outward. You can also tell by looking at the dented can if it rusting. Rust can weaken the integrity of the can and allow air and bacteria to enter it.

Sometimes cans can be fine when they originally get dented, but after a period of time begin to display some of the above changes. So when buying dented cans try to avoid buying cans that are dented on the top or bottom of the cans. These are where the main seams of the can are located and where the can is it's weakest. Alternatively, if the can is dented along the side it is most likely safe to eat the food within.

The final way you can tell if a dented can is safe to eat is when you open it. Once you puncture the can with your can opener it should not spray or explode. If it does spray or explode do not eat the food within it may be contaminated. Safe dented cans will open the same as non dented cans.

Googled and found this:
That depends on the type of can. If it has a plastic coated inside, then it is perfectly safe to eat the contents. If it is a tin coated steel can, then I would avoid eating the contents. Denting can crack the tin coating and this sets off some fairly complex chemical reactions between the tin, the steel and the contents of the can. This can lead to the tin coating dissolving into the food,especially if the food is acidic. Tin is toxic and you wouldn't want to eat it.

I thought most cans had platic coating inside these days, thus allowing you to keep leftovers in the can in the fridge(something you shouldn't do with the metal lined ones)?

It's not being dented, it's having popped ends that's dangerous. Freshly dented () is fine

think I will leave it then. It was a rectangle shaped sradine can, I could manipulate the shape of the dent, sardines just dont taste like they would normally and am 27 wks pg so dont want to risk any infection.
Thanks

Sardine tins are much more flexible anyway but wise to be cautious at 27 weeks

Have you complained about the number of damaged tins? They should replace them really

There is a 99.999% chance that all is well, but for the sake of a £, it is probably not worth the niggle of worry for you in your pregnancy, especially as these types of niggles can take on astronomical proportions during any sleepless nights.

Do you have a cat to give it to? Or to DH?

would love to give it to wankery dh today, sadly he's out and Ive thrown it.
Maybe clean the toilet with his toothbrush instead


Field Corn Is Big Business

Field corn is also known as yellow dent corn, as the kernels become indented with maturity. Although growing on fertile land the size of California, field corn is indigestible to humans without processing. But due to subsidies from the federal government which encourage more is better, industry has found a multitude of other uses for this water hungry, highly fertilized, shallow-rooted annual. The majority of field corn (40 percent) is used for ethanol, and 37 percent is used to rapidly fatten up grass-loving livestock. So, seventy six percent of the field corn grown in the United States is used for cars and grain-fed meat. 11 percent is used to make processed corn products, i.e. corn syrup, corn flour, and corn starch.


2011’s corn crop in the U.S. was worth $76.88 billion at an average price per bushel of $6.22. 2012’s crop was worth more than $74.27 billion. Chart: bigpictureagriculture.com


Are Dented Cans Dangerous?

As part of our food storage we’ve been cleaning off the racks of dented canned food items whenever we find them on clearance. I have a whole shelf stacked full of dented cans. Well, today my husband called me worried ’cause he heard somebody say that dented cans are dangerous. I wondered if we’d wasted all of that money on food we’d have to toss, so I got online and did a little research. Here’s what I found out:

Yes. Dented cans could possibly be dangerous, but the majority of them are not. Here’s how to tell the difference…

  • The most obvious way to tell if a can of food has spoiled is by pushing on the top and bottom of the can. If the top or the bottom of the can moves, or pops, the seal has been broken and it is not safe to eat.
  • If the can is bulging in any way, discard it. This is a sign that dangerous bacteria has been growing inside of the can, and the gases it is giving off is causing the can to swell. DO NOT open a can which is bulging. Breathing the gases inside is toxic.
  • If there is rust on the can it probably isn’t safe to eat out of. Rust can be a sign that air has penetrated the can, which will cause bacteria to grow inside.
  • When buying dented cans avoid the ones with dents along the seem of the top or bottom of the can.
  • If when you open the can it sprays out, spurts, or somewhat explodes, this is a bad sign.
  • If the dent is a sharp crease, it’s not safe.
  • And most obviously, if it’s leaking, toss it.

The downside to buying dented cans is that even though they are most likely safe when you buy them, over time the cans may be weakened and the above signs will begin showing up. So, the best thing to do is use dented cans right away, or open them up and re-can the contents.

I’m so glad to have learned what the danger signs are to watch out for. Unfortunately, it looks like several of the cans we bought are not going to be safe to eat. Better safe than sorry, right? From now on, I think I’ll avoid the dented can section all together.

A city girl learning to homestead on an acre of land in the country. Wife and homeschooling mother of four. Enjoying life, and everything that has to do with self sufficient living.


1. Not rinsing the beans first. Open any can of beans and the first thing you’ll notice is the thick, goopy liquid that surrounds the beans. … Follow this tip: As long as the recipe doesn’t require this liquid, be sure to drain and rinse all varieties of canned beans before adding them to your meal.

The type of food poisoning and who is most likely to get sick depends on the bacteria or toxin: Botulism. Most often found in improperly canned foods or foods in dented cans, especially corn, green beans, and peas. It can also be found in improperly stored or heated restaurant foods.


Care and Treatment

Your cancer and the type of treatment you receive may weaken your immune system. Choosing and preparing safe foods can help protect you from foodborne illness. A diet rich in fruit, vegetables, grains, beans, lean meat, fish and low fat dairy are important to consume to help maintain your strength and immune system. These guidelines can help make sure your foods are safe.

Cleaning

  • Proper hand washing is the first important step for food safety.
  • Wash with warm soapy water for 20 seconds before and after handling food. Wash after touching pets, handling garbage and using the restroom.
  • Use only clean towels, sponges or paper towels to clean work surfaces, utensils and cutting boards and re-wash when switching between different foods. For example, after chopping vegetables and slicing chicken breast.
  • Thoroughly rinse fresh fruit and vegetables under running water while scrubbing or brushing to remove excess dirt. Even melon, oranges and other thick skinned fruit that are peeled before eating should be washed to avoid introducing bacteria into the fruit when cutting.

Separating food

  • It is especially important to prevent the juices from raw meat, poultry and fish from coming in contact with other foods.
  • Place all fresh meat and fish in plastic bags at the grocery store and in the refrigerator before use.
  • Use separate cutting boards for meat and produce.
  • Use clean dishes to serve cooked food. Never reuse a dish that has held raw meat or fish without properly cleaning with soap and warm water.
  • Avoid purchasing or eating from dented cans and foods with broken seals.

Cooking

  • A food thermometer can be useful to ensure food is cooked to a safe temperature. See chart on the following page for recommended internal cooking temperatures.
  • Whole or ground meats as well as mixed dishes such as casseroles should reach a safe internal temperature. Do not rely on the color of the meat for doneness.
  • Eggs need to be cooked until the yolk and white is firm and not runny. Avoid recipes that call for uncooked eggs such as in many cream desserts, raw cookie dough or cake batter, hollandaise sauce, or caesar dressings.
  • Bring leftover sauces, soups and gravies to a boil.

Food storage

  • Avoid keeping food in the danger zone where bacteria grows the best between 40ºF and 140ºF.
  • Check that your refrigerator is at 40 ºF or below.
  • Place fresh or left over food in the refrigerator within 2 hours of purchase or eating.
  • Refrigerate or freeze food immediately after purchase.
  • Defrost food in the refrigerator, in cold water or by microwaving followed by immediate cooking.
  • Use shallow pans or dishes to cool food before refrigerating to avoid increasing the refrigerator temperature.

General food safety tips

  • Avoid salad bars, buffets and potlucks to reduce your risk of foodborne illness.
  • Avoid unpasteurized dairy products such as unpasteurized milk, cheeses, egg nog and unpasteurized honey, juices and ciders.
  • Read ‘Use By’ and expiration dates on fresh and packaged foods.
  • Avoid consuming raw sprouts of any kind (including alfalfa, clover, radish, and mung bean sprouts).
  • No raw or undercooked eggs, meat, fish or shellfish.

Policy on food brought in from home or takeout

  • Avoid store delis and self-serve or buffet style restaurants. Food made to order from restaurants is a safer choice.
  • Food cooked at home is allowed if storage and reheating guidelines are followed. Do not consume leftovers older than 48 hours.

For more information ask to speak with a registered dietitian.

Safe cooking temperatures

Use a thermometer to check the internal temperature of food near the end of cooking. The most accurate temperature is taken in the middle or core of the food or fluid.


Myth: All dented cans aren't safe to consume

We've all been taught to pick cans from supermarket shelves that are pristine and perfect. But dents happen, and when a can's perfection is marred, our first instinct is to dig deep into the shelf to look for a perfect can or make do without if it's the last can standing. But are all dented cans really bad for you? It depends, says Culinary Institute of America's associate professor of nutrition and food safety Suki Hertz. "If it's just a minor dent somewhere else on the can, it's not going to affect the food inside. I wouldn't be panicking. But if you have a dent and [the] dent is on the seam, you've broken the anaerobic condition of the can. Now pathogens can get in. It could cause a foodborne illness," Hertz tells Reader's Digest.

Dents on the seam, cans with bulging ends, as well as ones with sharp points and deep dents – which the USDA says you can lay your finger into when you're looking at the can – are the ones to avoid. Other than that, you're all set and good to go.


How should we interpret the 'best by' dates on canned goods?

Food and nutrition expert and consultant Amanda Webster cautions: "These dates are on the very strict end of the spectrum. It is also worth noting that the age of food is not what makes you sick, it is whether the food becomes contaminated. If they taste, look and smell fine, they pose very little danger. Most 'best by' dates have little to do with food safety and more to do with food quality and are provided by the manufacturers, not by any overseeing organization. They’re meant to let the consumer know how long they can guarantee optimum freshness and taste."


What do I do if I have dented lids? How do I fix them? Can I fix them.

Luckily, dented lids can be resolved. There are a few courses of action that you can take depending on the ingredients you’ve canned and if there is a vinegar brine or not.

One solution is to remove the dented lid and check out the situation in the jar. Do you have too much packed in? Did you leave enough head space for expansion? You can remove a spoonful of ingredients and pour out a bit of brine to give yourself proper head space. Poke out the bubbles. Wipe rim clean. Reapply a new wax seal lid. Screw on your sealing band – but not too tight. And reprocess in the canner for 10 minutes. If you choose this option you will have one of two results – a perfectly sealed jar -or- a jar with another dented lid. UGH. It happens. If you jar seals properly, congratulations! You’re done!

If you get ANOTHER DENTED LID, you get one of two choices:

  1. If these are vegetables without acidity (like carrots or green beans) you will want to store your jar in the fridge and consume within 5 days. Treat it like any “left over” food product in your fridge. If your dented lid is on a highly acidic produce, like tomatoes or cherries, or involves a pickled recipe (using a vinegar brine) you can store your jar in the fridge for up to 3 months or more without worry. Just keep the sealing ring on the jar and DO NOT OPEN until you are ready to eat whatever is inside. It’s still sterile inside that jar until it’s exposed to fresh air so just be aware and if you see anything suspect in your jar or smell anything funny, throw it out. Otherwise, pickled products are safe to store in the fridge for MONTHS without issues so long as they have an air-tight lid.
  2. Curl up with a bottle of wine and cry. And then still put your dented product in the fridge until you are ready to eat it. We don’t waste food, only tears, when canning.

YOUR SECOND OPTION is to skip trying to correct the dented lid and accept the fate of going straight to, “Refrigerate immediately. A dented lid is not a properly sealed product so consume within recommended cold-storage guidelines.” Depending on your situation, the produce you’re canning, and your attitude at the time, you may not be bothered to reprocess your dented lids. And that’s ok too.

One of my pickled cabbage batches produced FOUR dented lids out of EIGHT! I was gutted. So, I reprocessed the jars and only ended up with ONE that didn’t seal properly. A much better result! But I do not recommend processing for a third time unless you are certain your product isn’t going to turn to mush. Give yourself a pat on the back for a well-executed canning session and give your self grace for any mistakes. Lessons learned, am I right?

I hope this helps with your canning journey. I believe I may become an expert in another 15 years of trial and error. Maybe by then I won’t be denting lids and breaking jars… Speaking of breaking jars, if you’ve experienced this nightmare scenario CLICK HERE .


Cocoa Powders Found To Contain A Toxic Metal

Bakers, put down those mixers! Your cocoa powder may be contaminated with a toxic metal, according to a new report from ConsumerLab.com, an independent company that tests health products and supplements.

Nearly every cocoa powder ConsumerLab analyzed&mdashincluding products from Nestle, Trader Joe's, and Hershey&rsquos&mdashcontained dangerously high quantities of cadmium, a metal research has linked to kidney damage and bone softening.

"We were surprised to find this cadmium problem," says Tod Cooperman, MD, ConsumerLab's president. Initially, Cooperman says his company was focused on the cocoa products' amount of flavanols, a beneficial antioxidant. But while testing for flavanols, they stumbled onto the cadmium contaminants. "Unfortunately, this seems to be a big issue across all cocoa powders," Cooperman adds.

Cadmium is a metal found in ground soil that occasionally makes its way into plants like rice and cocoa. "Nearly everyone is exposed to small amounts of cadmium in their diet," Cooperman explains. But too much cadmium can lead to the health issues mentioned above. It's also a probable cancer-causer,research suggests. Although the U.S. has not set a specific limit on cadmium in foods and supplements, Canada and some European countries restrict the amount of the metal in food products and supplements. When asked why the U.S. is lax on cadmium, Cooperman says the FDA relies on manufacturers to apply reasonable limits for cadmium and contaminants, including lead.

So should you be worried? If you're drinking multiple cups of cocoa a week, or if you're baking (and eating) cupcakes or cookies packed with cocoa powder, cadmium is worth worrying about, Cooperman says. That's especially true for kids, who are likely more sensitive to the toxic metal than adults, he adds.

What should you do about it? According to ConsumerLab's testing, one product hit the sweet spot (pun intended) for both healthy flavanol content and low cadmium: CocoaVia ($35 for 30 eight-gram packets, CocoaVia.com). Cooperman says maintaining healthy levels of iron and zinc in your diet will also limit the amount of cadmium your body absorbs from the foods you eat.

We know what you're thinking: But what about chocolate bars?! At this point, Cooperman says he doesn't know what amounts of cadmium might turn up in your favorite bar or morsel. His team tested one type of chocolate bar&mdashHershey's "Special Dark"&mdashand found it to contain safe levels of the metal as well as a good amount of flavanols. But that may be due to all the added ingredients in commercial chocolate, which dilutes the amount of cadmium, he says.


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