Have you ever encountered a bulging can of food? I’m talking about canned food from the grocery store. More specifically, a bulging or bloated lid. Although rare, I just found one in my own food storage where I noticed the lid was bulging out a bit. I want to share two short video clips and a few photos of the bulging can / lid. Hopefully it will raise some awareness for your own health and safety!
Bulging Can / Lid Indicates Bacteria Growth
A can of food that’s bulging is bad news. Do not eat it! It likely means that there’s some sort of bacteria growing inside.
Here’s why I’m posting this… Sometimes it may go unnoticed. The bulge might be subtle. Other times more obvious. You need to always pay attention to this when you’re ready to open a can of canned ‘whatever’. Why? Because the bulging is likely being caused by bacteria inside the can. And it could make you sick, if consumed.
Grocery store canned food is pasteurized. It’s professionally processed to kill off any harmful bacteria. The food inside remains under a slight vacuum inside the can. This vacuum kind of sucks-in the lid.
When I grabbed this particular can of food, I immediately noticed the lid was bulging. Upon handling the can, my fingers noticed something wasn’t quite right. Well, my brain noticed via the sensory input from my fingers… It just happened automatically. I wasn’t particularly looking for a problem. I instinctively knew by the feel of it. Maybe we all ought to pay better attention, especially if we have older food storage (e.g. food storage preparedness).
Typically, I’ve found that most grocery store canned food has a manufacturer best-by date of about 2 years. This does NOT mean the food goes bad after 2 years. Actually, it will last much longer! I’m not going to get all into “best-by” or “use-by” dates because I’ve already written about it. If you’re interested, I will link that article below.
With that said, this can was 3 years past. It had escaped my view. I had several others of the same vintage which were fine. But not this one…
Picture of Bulging Lid of Canned Food versus Normal Can
You can see that the lid is convex, or curving outward. Compare it with the next photo of a normal can/lid.
The next photo shows the lid of a normal can. The lid is concave, or curving in. That’s because the inside of the can is pulling a vacuum on the lid. See the difference?
How to Tell If A Can Of Food Is Bulging
Here’s a short video clip of me popping the lid in and out. You can hear the click or pop when I press on the lid. It’s obvious that there’s pressure inside the can, rather than a vacuum. That’s not good…
Opening A Bulging Can Of Food
I decided to open it with the can opener. Here’s the video clip. You can hear the lid make a noise a few seconds after starting the can opener.
I sniffed the food after I opened it. It smelled seemingly normal. However, when in doubt, throw it out! There was definitely something ‘bad’ going on with this one.
So for all of you who may have a built-up storage of various canned foods (among other things) for preparedness, do pay attention to your cans, especially older one’s. We try our best to rotate through so that they don’t get too old. 2 years is a pretty good rule-of-thumb. But some don’t always get consumed within that time period – for various reasons.
[ Read: Use-by, Best-by, Sell-by Dates ]
[ Read: How to Tell If A Dented Can Is Safe ]