What does it mean when a food container is swollen: is it safe to eat?
Although there are exceptions, as a general rule if you find a swollen food container, either in the store or that has inflated after a few days in the refrigerator, it is best to throw it away and not consume its contents.
Finding containers with air inside is normal, depending on the type of food, a protective atmosphere or another is needed.
Perishable foods such as cheese or sausages are usually packed with little or no air, under vacuum, to prevent the growth of micro-organisms, while others such as chips are packed in a bag with added air – it’s not really air as such, is nitrogen gas- to preserve the texture and protect the potatoes from breaking.
This is normal, but if a container swells more than normal it is not a good sign, luckily it is usually easy to identify.
As we read in RD: “Most puffy food packaging occurs when microorganisms found in perishable foods produce gases, such as carbon dioxide. Some of these microorganisms cause food to spoil, and others can even cause food poisoning.” “.
The foods most susceptible to swelling are those with higher humidity inside, as they create a more suitable habitat for the proliferation of microorganisms.
For caution it is advisable never to buy swollen packages or with excess air inside, even if they are within their preferred consumption date.
And to prevent this effect from occurring, it is advisable to store food correctly, away from high temperatures or sunlight that can damage food packaging and cause the proliferation of bacteria.
And the most important, you have to use common sense and never eat food from inflated containers even if the food looks good and the expiration date is not past.
If the product exceeds the expiration date and the package is swollen in a way that it should not, directly discard it, do not consume it to avoid risks.