Nutrition Action Healthletter
Grocery Know-How Answers

  1. Yes
    It’s okay to eat the food from dented long as the dent isn’t sharp enough to have pierced the can or isn’t on the seams that run down the side or around the top and bottom. But if the contents of a can (dented or not) spray when the lid seal is broken by the can opener, the food may harbor Clostridium botulinum—a bacterium that secretes the neurotoxin that causes botulism, a frequently fatal disease. Wipe up the sprayed contents immediately with a paper towel. Note any code or batch number that’s on the can before (carefully) throwing it in the trash. Use a disinfectant cleaner on the counter top and use a paper towel to wipe it up. Then report the incident to the manufacturer and to your local Health Department.   back

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