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Is storing open food cans in the refrigerator safe?
High food costs cause a need to store leftover foods to get the best value. When using canned foods, placing unused portions in the original can in the refrigerator is a common practice. This practice may not be as safe as it appears.
Bisphenol A is a chemical found in the lining of cans used to contain food. Consumer Reports Magazine states that the chemical was found in 19 cans of name brand canned foods that the magazine included in their own safety tests. Furthermore, the magazine explains that while Bisphenol A is not banned nationwide there is growing concern and debate over its contribution to cancer and other diseases. ( Reference 2)
According to the UK Food Standards Agency, an open can allow food's exposure to air. This results in the food contents reacting faster with the tin or can's chemical and metal content. ( Reference 1 under tin cans)
While some states have banned Bisphenol A in can linings, research and debate continues by the FDA considering just how much of the chemical is safe. The best protection in the meantime consists of pouring any unused food from the can into a sealed container for refrigeration.
Logically, an open can in the refrigerator leads to accidental spills of its contents or other foods leaking into the can. Spilled food and unsanitary conditions in the refrigerator lead to the spread of bacteria that can cause illness. One such bacteria is Listeria monocytogenes.This bacteria thrives in cold making open cans susceptible to danger.
Considering facts and information provided by governmental health organizations and research storing open cans in the refrigerator is not safe. It creates a risk for spoilage, contamination and illness for the consumer. Seal food in covered containers, then store according to government timelines for food storage length and safety.