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bbqjoe
05-18-2006, 02:59 AM
Dented cans. Occasionally we come across dented cans. Some places even specialize in them offering them at low prices.

I'm not talking about leaking cans.

The question is this: Are dented cans okay to use?
__________________________________________________ _________________
The answer here is no.
A dented can can bring on a good case of botulism, or possibly somthing else other than an "off" taste.
Maybe only one in a thousand dented cans becomes poisonous. But remember, very rarley are you going to be able to detect it such as Chef described.
Chances are good that you have a chioce. You're right there at the grocery store. Put back that dented one and get a good one. Or send that bent can back to your supplier. You don't have to accept it.

If you are in the food biz and the health inspector sees a shelf full of dented cans it might not be pretty for you.

So, if only say, one in a thousand is bad, is it really worth the risk to save fifty cents.

It's like playing with a loaded gun.

BigDaddy
05-18-2006, 06:57 AM
When my wife and I owned a restaurant back in the late 90s we had a local health inspectator who looked for dented cans in our inventory. He said they were not allowed in a restaurant because of the remote possibility that the seal could be ruptured resulting in spoiled food or even illness. He said it would be a local (county) health dept. infraction with a point deduction on your inspection and could therefore lead to loss of license. Whenever I found a dented can I always returned it to the store or distributor and they never questioned it. At home it's a different story. There I just look to see if it's ruptured or not and make the judgement call.

Big Daddy

Arlin_MacRae
05-18-2006, 08:43 AM
I think dented and opened cans are obviously not to be used, but I think I heard something about inner can linings being cracked and exposing the contents... Could be a wive's tale.

VitaminQ
05-18-2006, 09:49 AM
I've always heard that dented cans may breed botulism. It has something to do with the pressure, I think. I'm not sure how that works, actually. In every grocery store I've ever worked at, if a can was dented it was not put on the shelf.

The_Kapn
05-18-2006, 10:02 AM
I think dented and opened cans are obviously not to be used, but I think I heard something about inner can linings being cracked and exposing the contents... Could be a wive's tale.

I'm guessing with Arlin here :lol:

Seems like a dent has a good chance of compromising the inside of the can and allowing cooties to grow.

But...?

Great thread.

TIM

BBQchef33
05-18-2006, 11:42 AM
Restaurant depot ALWAYS selss their dented cans as managers specials.. or on $1.00 racks. I steer away.


i kind of remember an outbreak of botuilism being traced to dented cans of mushrooms. This was 20-30 years ago.

Also, fairly recently, i had a dented can of chicken broth. Small dent on the side, no crease, did not look like much. The can was dated for 2008. When opened the broth smelled a little "off".. i dumped it and checked inside the can and where the dent was was the can liner was compromised and there was a visable reaction taking place at the site of the break. Even though no crease was present, there was still something going on. NO more dented cans for me.

Arlin_MacRae
05-18-2006, 12:49 PM
Also, fairly recently, i had a dented can of chicken broth. Small dent on the side, no crease, did not look like much. The can was dated for 2008. When opened the broth smelled a little "off".. i dumped it and checked inside the can and where the dent was was the can liner was compromised and there was a visable reaction taking place at the site of the break. Even though no crease was present, there was still something going on. NO more dented cans for me.

Thanks, Phil - that's exactly why I shy away from dented cans!

Yakfishingfool
05-18-2006, 05:13 PM
If dented cans weren't allowed, why would "depot" sell them. Wouldn't their liability go through the roof??? Scott

I vote, safe.

BBQchef33
05-18-2006, 09:35 PM
No clue.. but the dented shelves are always full of stuf.. some extremely damage.. Ive seen number 10 cans that were nearly bent in half.

HoDeDo
05-18-2006, 10:12 PM
Nelson's surplus in KC used to sell all kinds of dented cans..... and fire sale stuff -- literally! You could wipe the soot off of the boxes/cans... Scary stuff. But they stayed in business for at least 30 years. They had a frozen foods section too YIKES.

Kevin
05-18-2006, 11:08 PM
I presently work in a canning/labeling factory. Yah, it sucks, but it's a tween job to pay the piper since my old boss decided to stay drunk and hide out in the islands with his bar bride. We have meetings weekly on dented cans. Yes a dent does indeed indicate a possible breech of the can's inner lining. We study this chit to no end. Once the inner lining is breeched you have a situation of the can's contents in direct contact with steel. Yup, just simple steel. The contents, almost always include water, brine of water, salt, sugar, etc. Steel and these substances do not play well together. Our rule is "If it's not a perfect can, it's trash". This company's trash bill is $12,000 per month, if that indicates the volume of what we toss.

As an aside, the slightly dented cans are offered for employee sale at an incredibly low price (about $3.00 per case). I buy none.

BBQchef33
05-18-2006, 11:55 PM
kevin.. Great input!! Thanks for confirming that.. An age old question to me.

Jeff_in_KC
05-19-2006, 12:18 AM
Interesting stuff, Kevin! Thanks! I had always heard that there was a can lining that they USED to use but quit and that these days, dented cans ARE safe... so that's how I voted. But after reading your info, I'll also stteer clear of dented cans. Thanks again!

I presently work in a canning/labeling factory. Yah, it sucks, but it's a tween job to pay the piper since my old boss decided to stay drunk and hide out in the islands with his bar bride. We have meetings weekly on dented cans. Yes a dent does indeed indicate a possible breech of the can's inner lining. We study this chit to no end. Once the inner lining is breeched you have a situation of the can's contents in direct contact with steel. Yup, just simple steel. The contents, almost always include water, brine of water, salt, sugar, etc. Steel and these substances do not play well together. Our rule is "If it's not a perfect can, it's trash". This company's trash bill is $12,000 per month, if that indicates the volume of what we toss.

As an aside, the slightly dented cans are offered for employee sale at an incredibly low price (about $3.00 per case). I buy none.

bbqjoe
05-20-2006, 02:16 AM
Awesome confirmation Kevin! Thanks.

sotexn
05-20-2006, 07:54 AM
Thanks all.. I really learned something on this one, I never imagined a simple dent (not bulge) could lead you down a rocky road

MilitantSquatter
05-21-2006, 10:48 PM
Wow....I learned something here.. I always heard not to buy dented cans but never gave it second thought if it appeared to be sealed or without a hole... Never bothered to understand why.

Especially if a supermarket has something like tomato sauce on sale...like 10 cans for $10 etc...I just load em in the cart without looking...

I'll be on the lookout from now on...

FatDad
06-17-2006, 09:45 AM
Here is one from Del Monte.
http://www.delmonte.com/Answers/

Q:Is it safe to eat food from a dented or swollen can?A:Dents along the side panel of the can (away from the seam) will not affect the contents of the can. Never purchase or consume a product when there are dents on the side seam or the end seams. If cans are swollen or leaking, we recommend that they be destroyed. Should you have any doubts about the safety of any food, you should not consume it.

I have always and will continue to bypass dented cans.

To back up Kevin....here is an article about chemical reaction.
http://www.extension.umn.edu/info-u/nutrition/BJ642.html
and a helpful pdf file
http://www.foodlinkny.org/pdf/Nutrition_pdf/Can_safety1.pdf

---AND for grins ---
Britany's place cited...
http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/nyla1.html

bbqjoe
06-17-2006, 12:15 PM
I had an order come in yesterday including a case of ketchup in #10 cans. The thing looked like it had been through a car crusher.
I just could'nt believe the guy (substitute driver) had the gall to even bring it in off the truck.
Sent the whole case back!
Really needed it though.

Sledneck
12-24-2006, 01:36 AM
No clue.. but the dented shelves are always full of stuf.. some extremely damage.. Ive seen number 10 cans that were nearly bent in half.

What is a number 10 can?

nascarchuck
12-24-2006, 03:45 AM
I've always heard that dented cans may breed botulism. It has something to do with the pressure, I think. I'm not sure how that works, actually. In every grocery store I've ever worked at, if a can was dented it was not put on the shelf.


I don't think that I have ever seen a can of tomato paste that wasn't dented. :lol:

Around our neighborhood, I see dented cans all of the time in the stores.

bbqjoe
12-24-2006, 09:36 AM
What is a number 10 can?
A number ten can is about 6 inches across, about 7 inches tall, and holds
7 1/2 pounds or so of product.

417bullelk
02-17-2008, 11:04 AM
A dented can could lead you down a "runny" road as well....

ssbbqguy
02-27-2008, 10:49 PM
No dented, damaged cans ,period. Not worth the risk. Now if all food vendors would agree.

redy2smoke
02-28-2008, 09:54 AM
Good info from Kevin, I don't buy dented cans but very conceivable and logical for problems to crop up. thanks for the heads up!

kitch
08-28-2008, 12:46 AM
just realized I drank a beer from a dented can....

I'm hoping it will be ok :)

Ashmont
08-28-2008, 07:44 AM
Kitch was the dent there before or after you opened it? Also how many did you have before you realized the dent?:lol::lol::lol::lol:

kitch
08-28-2008, 10:44 AM
was before...

was only my 2nd of miller high life...so couldn't have been 2 bad

tommykendall
09-29-2008, 03:50 PM
Damn Joe posted a lot of Polls.

Forney
09-29-2008, 07:06 PM
Dented lids on glass jars are bad also...

BarberQue
12-07-2008, 07:21 PM
I think I'm going to like it here..No more dented cans for me either!!

jerrykr
01-08-2009, 11:23 AM
When I was in college, many, many moons ago, I worked for a small local company who dealt in "damaged freight". The boss had a contract with Affiliated Foods warehouse in the big city and sent bob-tail trucks down daily to pick up anything that was damaged by handling. Most of it was canned food items, everything you could imagine in a grocery store, except fresh foods.

We had a retail grocery store that sold the items, we also wholesaled to some smaller mom and pop grocery stores around the area.

Out of a damaged case of canned green beans for example, most of the cans would be un-damaged, some might be bent, slightly or severly, some might be leaking. We opened up the boxes and sorted them out. We had a guy whose job it was to wash cans and bottles that were not damaged, but had product spilled on them in the case.

Badly dented cans (not saleable), leaking cans, or "puffed" cans went into the trash. Same if paper labels were damaged or missing. The rest were sold at a discount to the public in the store or wholesaled.

"Puffed" cans or bottles contain spoiled food, and should never be purchased or eaten. Product spoils in every store, even upscale stores. They don't necessarily have to have been dented.

Look at can lids and bottle lids. They have a purpose design. If badly spoiled, the pressure of the spoiled food makes the lid bulge out or "puff up". It's very visible. You should be able to press on the center of the lid with your thumb and not have it "click" or move up and down, another indication of something wrong in the can. Glass jar lids have a dimple in the center the for the same purpose. Baby food jars are an easy one to look at for this design, and one we looked at very closely for spoilage.

Since we were in the "damaged freight" business we were constantly on the lookout for spoiled goods on the shelves. It was not rocket science. I have to presume that supermarkets today also visually inspect their goods on the shelf, at least I hope that they do.

Today, since I'm paying full retail at my supermarket, I avoid dented cans, but I'm not necessarily scared of them. Bottom line is to look for the state of the lids to assure yourself that the contents inside are not spoiled. Heck, check you own pantry at home. Stuff goes bad sometimes. The food may have been compromised before it was canned, and it takes awhile for it to spoil.

More than you ever wanted to know about my college part-time sack-boy job??? :wink:

WannaBeBBQueen
01-08-2009, 11:31 AM
good info..thanks for sharing!!

Natryka
02-11-2009, 05:32 PM
I use dented cans. Most of the time my dents come from the clumsy person carrying in the groceries.

southernsmoker
06-21-2010, 10:44 AM
never buy dented :thumb:

flyingv4me
06-21-2010, 11:18 AM
Interesting thread. Most of the comments are against dented cans but the poll shows more people say they're okay than not. I don't buy them, but that was simply because my Mom always told me not to buy them!

Timmy
07-22-2010, 12:23 PM
But, but but but..... Kevin also stated that the company sells these dented cans to employees. That would indicate to me that not all is as bad as most are saying. I'll give you the chicken broth one cause that just makes good smarts. I think it makes a difference as to what is in the can...and also the "use before date".
I dont have a dog in this fight so it makes no difference to me. I wont pay full price for a dented can and will move them out of the way to find non dented ones....but have and will continue to use dented cans depending on the contents.
OK, fire away!

repoman013
08-01-2010, 01:37 PM
this thread is a prime example of why i love it here!!!! i dont buy dented cans because my mother told me not to, i never gave it much thought untill now,,, i might have if i needed 3 cans and they only had 2 without dents, it is not worth the chance

Meadmaker
08-20-2010, 04:41 PM
My HD rep, told me that dented cans are OK, unless the dent is on a seam in the can. As long as it is not on the seam, it is OK to use product from a dented can.

Dave (A.K.A. Meadmaker)

aStraz
08-28-2010, 10:45 AM
I've used dented cans but I've also heard that a dented can can allow for the formation of botchulism, although rare, I'd still pick up an un-dented can over a dented one.

OL' Timer
12-27-2010, 12:35 AM
Restaurant depot ALWAYS selss their dented cans as managers specials.. or on $1.00 racks. I steer away.


i kind of remember an outbreak of botulism being traced to dented cans of mushrooms. This was 20-30 years ago.

.
In 1982 I was an area supervisor for Pizza Hut in Phoenix, AZ and one of the cans of mushrooms was dented in one of the Huts in NW Phoenix and it was confirmed botulism and we pulled all mushroom's from every store in AZ. We found 9 cans all dented in 3 stores and 2 had botulism when tested.

Dr_KY
04-14-2011, 09:01 AM
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