Canned food should not be cooked in the can, as doing so can release harmful chemicals from the can and plastic lining into the food.
Cans made of tin, aluminum, steel, and other metals can release toxins such as chromium and nickel when heated. Similarly, the inside lining of canned foods may contain Bisphenol A (BPA) which can leach into the food when heated.
Although the toxicity from eating heated canned food may not cause immediate health issues, studies show that it can lead to diabetes and cancer in the long term. Furthermore, cooking in cans may cause the can to burst or explode, which has the potential to lead to injury.
What about heating that occurs during the canning process?
The heating that may occur during canning is done in a controlled environment, with the process carefully monitored by both people and machines.
Cans and canned food are also sent to a lab to check for the possibility of toxicity or microbial contamination.
How to safely eat canned food
While canned food is safe to eat, it is best to prepare it safely.
Ideally, you should consume canned food immediately after opening without cooking it or reheating it. However, if you want to eat warm canned food, you can empty the contents into a pan to cook or heat.
If you need to heat it in the can, try to keep the can about 4-5 inches above the flame for a couple of minutes until the food is warmed.
Remove the top before heating or cooking to avoid pressure buildup and explosions. Other ways to avoid pressure buildup in the can is to punch holes on the top or you can replace the lid with a loose cover.
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Can-Don't: Cooking Canned Foods in Their Own Containers Comes with Risks. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/earth-talk-can-dont/
What is BPA, and what are the concerns about BPA? https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-answers/bpa/faq-20058331