Wow! I just saw my very first bulging can! It was a little can of tomato sauce that had been on my shelf for probably a month. I was putting my groceries away and trying to stack cans–when I noticed that that one just wouldn’t sit straight. It was seriously misshapen.

How exciting!

What if I’d used the can right away, before it started to bulge?

Quick! Inject it into your forehead!

(Don’t really!)


You’d have a tummy ache… to say the least.


The hot new musical from Andrew Lloyd Webber

Highlights include:

“Don’t Worry About the Dents, Dear”

“The Convulsion Rag”

“How Can I Say I Love You When You’re Drooling Blood On The Floor?”

“Mr. Yuck Doesn’t Live Here Anymore”

“I Gave You My Heart And You Gave Me Food Poisoning”

and the big finale “If It Smells Like Death, Leave It On The Shelf”

Seriously, I thought botulism wasn’t prevalent in foods containing high acid levels, such as tomato products.

Is this the same sort of feeling as when you’re at the top of a large building, looking down over the ledge and you think, “what if I jumped?”.

…Or… is that just me?

Actually I thought tomato preserves were one of the easiest for botulism. My grandma taught me how to can and she horrified me with a story of a family back in her hometown who ate some bad tomatoes. Half the family died, the other half just wanted to.

I had what I later figured to be a bad can of baked beans, in tomato sauce. I won’t get too vivid, but I will say my body did its best to rid itself of the offending substances, all night long. I don’t think I slept more than 2 hours in a row.

Not something I’d recommend to anyone.

I started a thread about botulism awhile back, if you’re interested.

The botulism itself probably wouldn’t get you, but the toxins it’s already produced could do a serious number on you.

I thought that botulism just paralyzed you straight-out. You stop breathing and a few minutes later, basta.

We had a jar of the stuff in the biology lab where I did student work. I never saw it used for anything.

That and “Would it kill me, or just hurt really bad?”

It occurred to me–should I report this to someone? Is there an especial risk that other cans of tomato sauce might be infected to? I kept the can’s label just in case. I could call the County Extension Office tomorrow morning.

I would call the manufactorer of the product and tell them the can is bulging and so forth. They will probably ask for the numbers on the can so they know hwen and where it was made.

As for eating it before it bulged, you might have been fine, you might not have. It it was early enough, then you might have onlyi ngested the botulism spores, before they had enough time to make a good amount of toxin. Our stomachs can kill ths spores (not an infants, though. So don’t feed an infant honey, full of botulism spores.) But the toxin is bad, bad stuff. Small maounts will make you sick for a while, larger amounts can cause temporary paralysis and a trip to the hospital, and even larger amounts (or lack of treatment from a smaller amount) cause severe paralysis and will kill you. Nasty, nasty stuff.

I would imagine that things other than botulism could be in there…
Oh, and BTW-
Congratulations Sattua- you’re a full-fledged Botulist now!

I have a can of stewed tomatoes decorated and autographed by John Astin (He played Dr Gangrene in two of the Killer Tomatoes movies, as well as the cartoon series). How big a bulge are we talking about? Will the pressure ever be enough to burst through the can? I’m not planning on ever eating the stuff, I just want to keep the can in the best possible condition because I am anal retentive about these things.

This is why I refuse to eat that soup that comes in bulging cans.

The can was bulging so bad on the top and bottom that it basically couldn’t sit up. It was about to burst. There was no mistake–something was seriously wrong.

I called up Hunt’s today, and they are sending me a coupon for a Hunt’s product of my choice. Neat.

I thought Sattua was just quoting an old Game Show Network ad .