Pink tinge to canned great northern beans. Safe?

I just opened a can of great northern beans (purchased yesterday) and noticed that most of the beans are slightly pink - not entirely pink, but just part of each bean has a pink cast to it. They smell fine and otherwise look normal. Has anyone seen this before? Are they safe to eat? It's my only can and I've already started the recipe with which I will be using them. Of course, I'd rather modify the recipe than kill myself.

I attempted a photo, but I'm not sure you can quite see the color. It's fairly subtle.


  • Posted by: crumbs
  • May 22, 2011
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Esvee July 3, 2018
I use canned cannelini and Great Northern beans often and they frequently have a pink tinge.
Esvee July 3, 2018
Want to add: I think this is just part of the bean - the little tip of it, maybe the germ?
Morgana L. June 28, 2018
Bless your heart! I just opened a can and saw a pink tinge subtly on each bean and googled my way here. I'm going to double-check some more, but was happy to come across this. My can did not smell or look funny or spew anything out. I'll still think it over just in case!
crumbs May 23, 2011
Thanks everyone for the advice. I used the beans and am alive and well! Posting the recipe in just a moment.
mcd2 May 23, 2011
oh, and the smell test is not a good test always of food born pathogen. or sight or swelling of can. that is, any of those could be present or not but trust your gut reaction. "I've not seen this before, maybe I'll throw this away & try another can..."
mcd2 May 23, 2011
my motto, when in doubt throw it out! i'm suspicious of those beans as there are many pink molds. the recipe sounds great but i wouldn't chance it with THAT can of beans. don't know how long they were on a shelf or in a warehouse before you got them. or a manufacturing pinhole that didn't affect any other can of beans.
susan G. May 22, 2011
Sometimes canned food labels have a customer service phone number. If so, assuming you lived to tell the tale (and I'm sure you did), would you call and let us know what they say? It would be nice to know what's going on.
Thanks for the link. She has an excellent blog, and your comments are helpful.
boulangere May 22, 2011
I think it sounds great with both the pasta and the cheese. I think you've got something here.
crumbs May 22, 2011
I'm winging it at the moment, but if it turns out well, I'd be happy to post! It's based on this recipe, which I tried while doing a vegan/low carb cleanse. I really liked the flavors but it lacked structure, so I'm adding some pasta and a little cheese this time. Only because I love cheese:) - it could stand on its own without.
boulangere May 22, 2011
Oooooh! That sounds wonderful. Please think about posting it. Do you use mozarella? If not, I'm guessing it's vegan, and several food52ers would be interested in it. Even with, we'd love to see it.
crumbs May 22, 2011
ooops *lasagna
crumbs May 22, 2011
Thanks!!! It's an eggplant casserole/lasana thingy. I puree the beans for the creamy element, instead of using ricotta.
boulangere May 22, 2011
Yes, I've seen this often. As long as the can wasn't swollen, you'll live to tell us what you made.
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