There is this belief that eating stuff from a dented can is not good and you find that people throw out food that is perfectly safe and good because the can is dented. Admittedly, a dent in a can weakens the can and makes it easier for the content of the can to become contaminated but not all dented cans are bad, some are perfectly good and safe for consumption. So we can reduce waste by knowing what to look out for when confronted by a dented canned food.
Rule of thumb, if the can is bloated, then the food is definitely not safe for consumption. The bloating of the can is caused by fermentation activities of bacteria on the can’s content. If the can is dented from the top or bottom especially around its seams, you need to take a closer look to make sure the seal is not broken and air has not found its way into the can. The most common way to check a can to see if its content is safe for consumption is to press the can with your thumb or something and see if it pops out. This is of course if the can does not have any obvious signs of bloating.
Also, cans with rust on them that does not easily rub off may not be safe for consumption but if the only problem with the can is a dent on the side for example then the integrity of its content has not been compromised. However, if you are not comfortable enough to eat the contents of a dented can then DON’T.
It is better to err on the side of caution