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I was in my local supermarket today and I found a great deal on some canned beans (cases and cases of them). I was going to get some but one of the cans was bulging out at both ends, obviously some bacteria. My question is, should I be suspicious of the rest of them? Does this mean there was some problem at the canning plant? Would you judge the lot based on one bad can?

Let me know what you think. I'd like to go back and get some cases but I'm a little sketched out. Also, the expiration date was 2013 and the cans were manufactured (canned) in Puerto Rico.
 

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I would not buy any cans that had the same lot number. It is better to err on the side of safety when it comes to botulism. Just opening a can that has the bacteria can possibly kill you if you breath in the fumes.

You should actually call your local health dept and let them check it out. You might save someone else's life.
 

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Im not a professional by no means. but, if the rest of the cans aren't bulging I wouldn't worry about it.if you open them and they smell/look funny throw it away.
 

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From what I have read from the canning safety sources, though you should discard a bulging can, the bulge doesn't mean botulism. Botulism can be present even if it looks right and smells right.

If you have any question about something (like green beans), any really need to eat it, boiling for 10 minutes will neutralize botulism toxins. It won't kill the spores that can re-grow in the food, but boiling will make it safe for immediate consumption.

Source:

http://www.fda.gov/Fdac/features/095_bot.html

quote "Foods cooked at home should not be left at temperatures between 40 F and 140 F (4.5 C to 60 C) for more than four hours. Toxin that may have formed can readily be destroyed by boiling the food for 10 minutes.
 

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I would question the reason that they are selling them so cheap in cases and cases and then you find a bulged can. Check dates carefully and observe some of the other cans very closely. It might not be worth the savings when the SHTF a year from now and you need the beans, only to find others bulging or you now have a bad case of botchulism or the bacteria two step in a survival situation. Not good. Move on to something else and pay the regular price.
 

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Odds are the can itself was defective instead of the whole lot. You could always stock up and sit on them for a while. Watch the news and see if a recall occurs. Botulism is surveiled, so it won't take many cases before it makes the news.
 
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