🔕 🔔

My Basket ()

All questions

Are dented cans dangerous?

asked by a Whole Foods Market Customer about 5 years ago
4 answers 17329 views
Bac35f8c 0352 46fe 95e3 57de4b652617  p1291120
added about 5 years ago

Potentially yes. Avoid them. Bulging cans are ABSOLUTELY POSITIVELY dangerous.

549d9fb3 53ef 4170 b68e 8bae2e055be7  dsc 0048b
added about 5 years ago

I am not an expert or scientist, but something I heard at my local organic shop might be interesting here, though it could be complete urban legend. According to this particular employee, ironically, this is why companies began lining cans with BPA - to prevent dents in cans from actually becoming a pinhole which could let in bacteria. Clearly, a bulging can is no good, but I wonder how much there is to the BPA lining theory.

A9f88177 5a41 4b63 8669 9e72eb277c1a  waffle3
added about 5 years ago

Cans are lined with a plastic coating to preserve flavor and to prevent acidic foods from eating through them from the inside out, not to preclude leaks due to dents. The practice started with the first beer cans back in the 30's.

A9f88177 5a41 4b63 8669 9e72eb277c1a  waffle3
added about 5 years ago

When a can is severely dented on a seam, either on the body of the can or on a lid, there is a danger of failure at the seam which could allow bacteria to enter. Sharp dents anywhere on the can are also problematic as they can result in pinhole ruptures. Severe rust (rust that can't be wiped away) is also dangerous.

Minor, smooth dents do not present any danger whatsoever. Some cans today don't have a bottom seam similar to a Coke can (look at a tuna can for example). Many of these cans receive minor dents from normal handling due to the lack of reinforcement at the bottom edge -- not a problem if it's minor, still an issue if it's sharp. It takes a lot to actually rupture a can. Throw a can of soda onto the floor and see how much damage it can withstand without rupturing.

As always, bulging cans or cans that squirt when you open them represent extreme danger from botulism (carbonated beverages an obvious exception).

Let's Keep in Touch!

Get the recipes and features that have us talking, plus first dibs on events and limited-batch products.

(Oh, and $10 off your order of $50 or more in the Food52 Shop, too.)

Please enter a valid email address.