Can you get sick from drinking beverages straight from the can?

My mom believes that you should wipe the can before drinking. One theory is that in the warehouses, where they are stored, rats urinate on the cans. Truth?

Show her this

I don’t know about rat piss, but when I worked retail, sometimes the soda cans would get dusty from sitting on the shelf for a while, or sticky, if some soda happened to leak. You might just want to wipe the top off.

My Mom forwards emails like that to me perhaps once per week. She’s pretty savvy. I usually send her back a link to snopes.

When I’ve tried sending the link back to other people on her email forward list, I’ve had people come back with angry letters. No one likes to think they’ve been made a fool of.

When the sodas/pop/beverages are are en masse, the warehouse folks walk on them, for one thing.

Don’t they wrap them in plastic?

I have seen the back side of supermarkets. If the cans come out of some type of covered case, things should be fine. If the cans are exposed while they are in the warehouse, then people can indeed walk on them and they get exposed to dust and whatever else. If they are loaded into a soda machine, the person loading it may touch the top. I have had to clean all kinds of stuff off of sodas before they go to the shelf. That said, I never worry about that type of thing when I drink them. I figure any harmful bacteria wouldn’t do well on bare aluminum once it is refrigerated. Any dirt or other nastiness should show up on bare aluminum as well.

I’ve had multiple six-packs of root beer and cream soda in the last week and a half, while recovering from oral surgery. I have a large canker sore on my upper lip now, but that’s probably just coincidence.

Sorry about the double-post; I was initially going to say that leptospirosis would be a good disease to show up on House – patient doesn’t reveal pet rat/rat infestation, is in contact with diseased rat urine, and best of all, it is (or can be) deadly.

I recall a news story a few years ago about some people dying of hantavirus (or something similar) in Brazil caused by contaminated cans.

Plus, the populace touches the cans in the store. If you wouldn’t lick money, you should probably at least wipe the top of cans and the tops of the necks of bottles before use.

People sure are wierd that way… I watched this gal at the supermarket the other day, who picked up a package of sliced sandwich bologna, squeeze it a couple times, and then scrutinized the bologna at about 4" from her eyes, really eyeballing it, what she was looking for/at, I’ve no idea. C’mon, we’re talking bologna here, folks. Then she put it back, obviously failing her high quality control standards. I just wish people wouldn’t fondle food, but fingerf%#ing everything seems to be ingrained with some folks.

You’d be wrong there. Cold and even freezing temperatures don’t do much to kill bacteria. It just inhibits their growth and reproduction. Take them out of the cold temps, and they’re as dangerous as they ever were.

Sorry… didn’t mean to be a Jerk :slight_smile:

I’ve seen some awfully grungy can tops, in my day. I don’t know if they were actually dangerous in any way, but they were certainly gross. That’s a good enough reason to clean them off for me.

To answer the OP, I believe that depends on what is in the can. I’d steer clear of something marked ‘Botulism Lite.’ :wink: