The Pittsburgh Area Food Bank is recalling canned oranges due to leakage. While the product is within the stated shelf-life, it can be noted that the manufacturer has stated a three year shelf-life, which may be an error on the manufacturer's part. Acid foods in cans do not last long, and normally, the shelf-life is two years. The reason is that the acid will react with the can lining, and over time, it will get through to the steel base and rust through. This is especially the case with tin-lined cans (additionally, if tin lined, tin concentrations will increase). As cans begin to deteriorate, you will initially see a hydrogen swell...hydrogen gas is released as the acid reacts with the can. As the can swells, the ends will pop up. But once the acid eats through the can leading to a pinhole, the pressure will be release and the can may look normal.
Food banks will normally distribute product past the state shelf-life. For low acid canned foods, one to two years is normal. In many cases, those types of foods will last even longer (although the product will break down over time...unlike fine wines, canned foods do not get better over the years). But for acid foods, 6 months should be a limit past the life of the can. And in the example here, the cans did not even make it that long.
Other potential issues that could have resulted in leakage: A bad seam - a double seam (the seam that holds the lid to the body) can be out of specification leading to too little of overlap and thus a weak seal. Damage to the double seam - cuts into the double seam or dents to the double seam can also result in leakage. Headspace evacuation - If the air in the headspace was not properly evacuated with steam, residual oxygen could hasten can deterioration.
FDA Recall Notice
Food Bank Recalls Canned Mandarin Oranges Due to Possible Health Risk
For Immediate Release
March 17, 2016
Consumers Tamara Kilgore firstname.lastname@example.org 412-460-3663 x410
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Duquesne, PA – Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank is announcing a voluntary recall of one lot of Imperial Choice Mandarin Oranges Broken Segments in Light Syrup because some of the cans from this lot may leak, bulge or burst open. The product may be contaminated by spoilage organisms or pathogens, which could lead to serious or life-threatening illness if consumed. This recall only affects cans marked with code 4200/01029.
Bulging cans may be swollen at the top, bottom or both ends. Even if cans from this lot appear normal, this product should not be eaten. This recall only involves product that was distributed August 2015 through January 2016 through the Food Bank's network of pantries throughout Southwestern PA. It was also distributed at Produce to People distributions in Allegheny Valley, Butler, Cambria, Fayette, Greene, McKeesport, Sheraden, Southside, Washington and West Greene and through emergency aid boxes provided to people visiting the Food Bank's facility in Duquesne, PA.
Any consumer who has cans from this lot should dispose of them. Pantries with cans from this lot should remove them from their shelves and contact the Food Bank with an inventory of how many cans are remaining. The Food Bank is in communication with its supplier of this product and the Food and Drug Administration regarding this recall and no illnesses have been reported to date.
About Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank:
Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, a member of Feeding America, is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1980 that distributes more than 23 million meals annually throughout a network of more than 400 partners across 11 counties in southwestern Pennsylvania. For more information on hunger in our region or how to get involved, visit www.pittsburghfoodbank.org