There is no harm even if you eat canned food cold. This is because all canned foods sold in the US are required to be pre-cooked before packaging as mandated by the FDA. The key reason that we heat up canned food before eating is to add to its flavor while making you feel warm rather than when it’s taken cold.
However, during an emergency condition, when you don’t have access to an electric supply, gas, or micro oven, you have no other option but to heat the canned food over the campfire.
How safe is it to heat canned food in the can?
Albeit it’s not harmful to heat canned food in the can itself, however, you’re highly recommended to transfer the food to a cooking pot before heating. Try to carry portable camping pots available today, which are ideally designed to carry for outdoor, camping, hiking, and other emergency situations. Also, make sure that you use pots made of stainless steel or cast iron.
Why it is so recommended?
It is worth noting that most cans come with a kind of plastic linings to prevent the interior from possible corrosion. If heated within the can, as it gets hot, the release of chemicals from the lining not only tends to impact the flavor of the food but changes of leaching toxic chemicals into the food may affect your digestive system. No, you will not die but will be sick.
Did you know that around 10% of canned foods contain BPA (a toxic chemical) in the lining? Ingesting such chemicals often leads to brain development disorders among children while causing cancer in adults is not uncommon.
So, before buying your canned food, to ensure if it contains BPA lining – get through the site of the product manufacturing company online, since generally it is not declared on the can package. If the canned food has a BPA grade lining, avoid heating it within the can.
How to cook canned food in the can
Make sure that you buy canned foods that are BPA-free cans. So, you don’t need to get worried about the thought that your food is being stored in a can that is vulnerable to get mixed with harmful chemicals. However, before heating the can you need to follow a few steps for absolute safety.
First of all, remove the plastic/ paper sicker or the label of the package.
Carry and use a pocket knife or chef’s knife to make some holes on the lid of the can. You also take away the entire lid by cutting the corners on the top of the lid. However, keep the lid over the can’s cap that helps protect your foodstuff from the ashes.
Place the canned food on the campfire however; using a handy cooking grill supported by rocks or bricks will be a better choice.
It will discharge steam out of the holes or the gap of the lightly placed lid,
As the foods inside start boiling let the process continue for a few minutes.
Never forget to use a duster or micro-oven globes to hold the container as it will be extremely hit.
Let the cap cool and then enjoy your food with a spoon.
How safe is it to eat from the can directly?
Since all canned foods are cooked before packaging, it’s safe to eat your food directly from the can itself. Even if, the can has a plastic lining, it can yet be taken directly so long as you’re cautious enough not to accidentally ingesting its lining.
Can you eat your home-canned food without cooking it?
Yes, you can! Canning food at home is a proven method to preserve foods for a longer period without worrying about food decaying due to the growth of bacteria.
Now, regardless of you follow water bath (hot-bath) canning, pressure canning, or atmospheric steam canning, all these methods require heating the sealed containers until the food is hot enough to destroy all bacteria or harmful organisms.
In most cases during the container of food is heated… almost cook the food. So you can eat them directly, however, if you feel so, optionally you can reheat them and cook well before eating. Most importantly canned food at home can be taken directly from the can as there is no question of the lining.
Available in a wide variety of options canned food has been a standard survivalist or emergency food solution and known for its long shelf-life.
There is no harm in intake of canned food cold since these come in pre-cooked condition as a standard rule of the FDA. What you will miss is the taste… but this question appears when it’s an emergency and to meet your hunger or under survival situation.
Always try to procure BPA-free canned food to ensure absolute safety even you cook the canned food within the can or get your food directly from the can. Make a sensible choice depending on the situation. Using home-canned food is a steady option because whatever way you eat your food, it is 100% safe.