Dented, bulging canned goods are spoiled, FDA warns public

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MANILA, Philippines—The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Friday warned the public against buying dented or bulging canned goods as this may be an indication of food contamination.

In an advisory, the FDA urged the public to closely examine canned goods before buying them, especially those “on sale or offered with discounts.”

“It is possible for consumers to detect food spoilage, which can lead to food intoxication, by closely observing the integrity of the can. Never buy canned goods with dents, especially if found in the seams of the can,” the FDA said.

“Bulging ends may mean that there are leaks in the can or bacteria have colonized inside and produce gases as by-product,” it added.

The agency said food intoxication from eating canned goods is largely due to the action of bacteria that penetrate the cans or “remained viable inside after an improper sterilization process.”

It noted that dented or damaged canned goods can produce “pinhole-size openings” that may not be obvious to the consumers.

“A single pinhole-size opening allows bacteria to enter, grow and spoil the food inside and may produce toxins. A dirty label is an indicator of possible leak of food contents,” the FDA said.

It said the presence of rust in canned goods is also another indicator of improper storage and handling of food products “which may affect the integrity of sealed products.”

“These are all strong indications of food spoilage which can cause food intoxication or food-borne diarrhea,” the FDA said.

“All consumers are advised to be more vigilant by closely examining the canned food products for signs of food spoilage before buying them. Moreover, consumers are enjoined to read the labels, including those that are on sale or offered with discounts,” it added.

The FDA urged the public to report any food-related illnesses to the agency through the e-mail address report@fda.gov.ph or e-mail info@fda.gov.ph.

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