Dry canned beans

I was just getting set to make myself some supper, and I opened up a can of beans (specifically, the kind labeled “pork and beans”, which contain only homeopathic traces of pork). Usually, when the can is opened, you see a little bit of air space, then the beans with a reddish liquid just covering them. This time, though, what I saw was a solid mass, conforming to the shape of the lid, similar to what you’d get with refried beans. Well, I thought, maybe I had the can upside-down in the cupboard, and the beans all settled to that end, and the liquid will be at the other end… but when I dumped them out into the pan (a slow process), the other end of the can was just as dry.

Well, ordinarily I don’t worry too much about food, but I do know that you can get botulism in improperly-canned beans, and besides, they only cost about 50 cents a can. So I threw them out, washed the pot, and opened a new can. Which is the same way.

Both cans would have been bought at the same time, about a week ago, so they’d have been in the same batch from the store/supplier.

What’s most likely happening here?

Evaporation, which means that the seal wasn’t really a SEAL! If the moisture could get out, then anaerobic bacteria could get in - you know, the kind that could make you wretchedly sick or kill you.

I’d have brought 'em back to the store.

Yup, I mentioned botulism in the first post.

And I probably will bring it back to the store, but not right now, since I’m still hungry. I think I still have one can in the cupboard from the previous grocery trip-- That should still be good.

Does the actual weight differ from the labeled weight?

A good question, but I don’t have a scale precise enough to tell the difference.

OK, I just returned them. The store didn’t give me a hard time about it, and the replacement cans I bought all had a different code number stamped on the bottom, so hopefully these will be OK.

I have gotten canned items that were bad. Always, when in doubt throw it out. It’s amazing it isn’t more prevalent. As many commercial canned and boxed food we eat you would think it could be really bad.
Your canned pork and beans must have been a bad lot. Do you know if they were processed in the US?

I don’t know an answer to the question as posed but I would be interested in what you get in the replacement cans. I am wondering if that is just the way that particular product is made.

Well, I buy pork and beans fairly frequently, the same brand and from the same store. They’ve never looked like this before. And the manager agreed that they didn’t look at all like pork and beans.

I will, of course, pay close attention when I open the new cans, even though they’re from a different batch, because for all I know, the problem at the cannery might have persisted for multiple batches.

I see. Maybe the company put the “pork & beans” label on a dog food can.

It’s possible, I suppose, that they were refried beans. But given two possible explanations, one of which is tasty and one of which could kill me, I’ll play it safe.

shake the cans when buying
pork and beans you will hear them slosh around.

I would also not bank my tummy on them being mislabeled refried beans
9 hours on the toilet is the least of the bad possibilities

While I realize that Sir John Franklin’s tragic end was most likely not due to their canned food as it once was thought, it still sticks in the back of my mind when I see stories like this one.
But I am curious if the can was easy to push when you checked it for swelling, because this case doesn’t seem to match the normal USDA recommendations to look for rust, dents and swelling.