is eating from a dented can safe ?

@Sissygrl (10999)
Canada
May 3, 2009 5:27am CST
I assume no its not, but i've acquired a can that's dented along the way somewhere, and i'm unsure if i want to eat from it.. I have eaten from them before when i've had to because it was the only cans of stuff i had.. once one tasted a lot like rust so i didn't eat too much of that before throwing it.. What do you say ? eat it or throw it ? oh.. and .. what's your favourite canned goods ?
5 people like this
14 responses
@benny128 (3624)
3 May 09
aslong as the can isnt pierced through the metal skin if will be safe, as will be air tight, if its punctured through the metal skin then I'd throw it away.
2 people like this
@Sissygrl (10999)
• Canada
3 May 09
but they coat the can with a thin layer of plastic stuff so that the metal isn't actually in contact with the food.. at least that's my understanding.. if the can is dented and the plastic sealer broken, and the food is sitting in there a long time.. is that good ?
1 person likes this
@benny128 (3624)
3 May 09
yeah but the plastic will be quite bendable I wouldnt worry if its dented, as half the food in cans would be thrown away as I get quite a few dented cans from the super market as they get thrown about in the delivery process. So yeah dont worry about it, I dont. Good luck
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@4ofmyown (1124)
• United States
4 May 09
My husband works in a retail/grocery store and he refuses to allow me to buy anything that is dented. The can may look fine but even if the metal has a tiny puncture it can compromise the food inside. Most people say to look for rust on the can or bulging ends, which is true....but, I once opened a can of what I thought was perfectly good tomato sauce, no dents, no bulging ends and not expired....as soon as the can opener punctured the lid the sauce sprayed everywhere (and I mean everywhere), it took me 3 days to clean up all the little orange spots off my ceiling and cabinets. There was definitely something wrong with it but I had no signs on the outside of the can. I would not risk eating from dented cans.
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@Sissygrl (10999)
• Canada
5 May 09
oh dear! that has never happened to be but that you for sharing! i once dropped a glass jar of salsa and teh same thing happened, the spraying and sloshing everywhere.. it took me about three days too and under the fridge too grr it was a mess
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@Opal26 (17694)
• United States
3 May 09
Hey Sissy! I try not eat from a dented can! But, I do know that sometimes they just get dented from falling in my own cabinet! They weren't dented when I first bought them! Not all dented cans are no good! But, it really isn't the best idea to eat from them just in case! I buy alot of canned stuff! I buy canned corn, sometimes canned gravy, potatoes, soups, sauerkraut, pinapple, tuna, beans, tomato sauce. I really try to watch out that there are no dents before I use them and if I am not sure, I do throw them out! I would rather be on the safe side!
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@Sissygrl (10999)
• Canada
5 May 09
yea better to be safe then sorry, but i thought i'd see what everyone else was saying first. . before i decided what to do with this can lol
@Jennlk84 (4221)
• United States
3 May 09
Dented cans should be safe to eat out of, unless it's somehow busted open. If that's the case though, I'm sure you'd notice and not even bother anyways. When I see dented cans at the grocery store, I always avoid them. That's because I'm OCD. I like everything looking perfect in my cupboards. lol I don't think there is any real safety issue with it though.
2 people like this
@owlwings (34554)
• Cambridge, England
3 May 09
Usually it is safe. Many (I think most - certainly those that contain acid food such as tomato or fruit) cans have an inert (plastic) coating on the inside. This is nowadays quite flexible and is unlikely to be damaged by a dent. In the early days of canning it was possible to damage the inner coating (when there was one) and so there might be a chance of metallic contamination. If you are planning to eat the contents of a damaged can, I would open it and examine the contents carefully to see if there is any discolouration of the contents or obvious damage to the coating (sometimes it's white but often clear and therefore invisible). If the can isn't obviously 'blown' and the contents seem fine, it's unlikely to do you harm.
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@Sissygrl (10999)
• Canada
3 May 09
Thanks owlwings, i knew about the plastic layer, which is why i was concerned, i guess if the bpa in the plastic doesn't kill us then a little metal contamination wont either right ?
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@chrislotz (8209)
• Canada
5 May 09
I have heard this thing about dented cans since I was a young girl and I have eaten food from these dented cans all of my life, and I am 52 years old, and I have never gotten sick and I am still alive, so I don't believe that it isn't safe to eat. A lot of times the stores will have dented canned food on sale at half price and sometimes even cheaper, so I buy them. And I have seen lots of people buy them so if they were so bad then I don't think the store would be selling them either. Can you imagine of someone got poisoned from a dented can they bought from a store. They would be sueing the store so fast. And the stores aren't stupid, they know that if the food was bad in the can because of the dent, I am sure they wouldn't be selling them since all they have to do is return them to the manufacturer and get them replaced. I know how all that works because I worked in a big box grocery store and we were always returning things to the supplier and getting either a credit for it or a replacement.
2 people like this
@shaggin (13928)
• United States
4 May 09
My favorite canned food item is mandarin oranges. They are so yummy. My kids usually share a can each during the day. I don't let my chilren eat out of any cans that are dented. Cans getting dented badly can let bacteria get in and can cause botulism. So its not safe to ever feed children from dented cans but I do eat out of them myself. When I open the cans I look to see if I can see any sign or smell of food spoilage. I have found a few but not very often. If the canned food inside looks good I eat it. If not I throw it away. You shouldnt eat from a can that is rusted either as it can put rust in your food and usually rust on the can is a sign the food is no longer healthy to eat. The other day I was making macaroni and cheese. One of the ingredients was mushroom soup. The cans use by date was from either 2005 or 2007. I knew it was really old so I wouldnt let my children eat the macaroni and cheese but my husband and I ate it and we were both fine. I checked the food inside the can to see if it was spoiled but it looked and smelled fine so I went ahead and used it.
@tjburcham (690)
• United States
4 May 09
My parents taught us to be picky about that also. It's better to be safe than sorry. Through it out.
2 people like this
@jillhill (37358)
• United States
3 May 09
My favorite canned food is either soup or peas..I have never eaten from a dented can.....I have heard that it could break the seal from the packaging so I just pitch it....
2 people like this
3 May 09
I think the dented can is safe as long as the can is not dented through having a hole.
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@p1kef1sh (45648)
3 May 09
Unless it look like it's been in a train wreck I would eat the contents Sissy. You only have to open it to see what the inside is like. If it is at all rusted, or metal seems to be floating in the contents I would risk it. Baked beans have to be my favourite contents. But everyone wants to stay upwind of me afterwards!! LOL.
1 person likes this
@Sissygrl (10999)
• Canada
5 May 09
lol pike, i like baked beans, home made ones are much better then canned though!! I make them with bacon in them once in a while ;)
@p1kef1sh (45648)
5 May 09
STOP RIGHT THERE!! You make your own baked beans. How. I need to learn how to cook them. Pretty please Sissy. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
@Boffle (124)
3 May 09
Theoretically, you shouldn't eat the contents of a dented can in case bacteria has been able to enter. The idea is that if you dent a can you might damage the tin plate which exposes the steel underneath; the steel may in turn rust and allow bacteria in. But the risk is just theoretical. Obviously you shouldn't eat the contents if the can is seriously damaged and you certainly shouldn't do so if the can is bulging outwards - that's a sign that the food inside has gone off. But a slight dent won't cause you any problems at all. After all, supermarkets often sell off dented cans at a reduced price - and they wouldn't be allowed to do that if what they were selling posed a danger to public health.
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@Sissygrl (10999)
• Canada
5 May 09
that is true! thank you fro your help
@dragon54u (27584)
• United States
3 May 09
If they've been dented recently and the seal wasn't compromised, there shouldn't be any danger in eating them. I don't buy dented cans, though, because I don't know how long they've been dented. If I drop one I'm thinking of buying, I'll buy it anyway because I'm the one who dented it. I like canned green beans. Or just about anything in cans! Especially baked beans but I don't have those often because they're so high in calories.
1 person likes this
@lilybug (21184)
• United States
3 May 09
Food from dented cans is typically safe to eat. The only time that I would be worried about it is if it is dented on the side of the can where it is sealed or if it is bulging in any way.
1 person likes this