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Food Handling Lesson Polls Poll based lessons. See what misconceptions our general population has regarding food safety and preparation.

View Poll Results: Are dented cans okay to use?
Yes 16 53.33%
No 11 36.67%
Not sure 3 10.00%
Voters: 30. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 01-08-2009, 10:23 AM   #31
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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???
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Old 01-08-2009, 10:31 AM   #32
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good info..thanks for sharing!!
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Old 02-11-2009, 04:32 PM   #33
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I use dented cans. Most of the time my dents come from the clumsy person carrying in the groceries.
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Old 06-21-2010, 09:44 AM   #34
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never buy dented
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Old 06-21-2010, 10:18 AM   #35
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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!
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Old 07-22-2010, 11:23 AM   #36
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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.
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Old 08-01-2010, 12:37 PM   #37
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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
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Old 08-20-2010, 03:41 PM   #38
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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.

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Old 08-28-2010, 09:45 AM   #39
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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.
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Old 12-26-2010, 11:35 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by BBQchef33 View Post
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.
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Old 04-14-2011, 08:01 AM   #41
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