Defective cans may leak and allow microorganisms to enter food, causing food poisoning or other health problems. The most dangerous toxin is produced by the microorganism Clostridium botulinum, which causes paralysis and death.

Never open cans that show signs of botulism: leaking, bulging, rusting or badly dented cans; cracked jars; jars with loose or bulging lids; canned food with a foul odor; or any container that spurts liquid when opening.

Opening a contaminated can may cause health problems if the toxin is inhaled, swallowed or absorbed through eyes or breaks in the skin. Do not taste this food!