Texas wedding caterer Dale Cane found a dead rat’s head in one of the twenty cans of Allen’s Italian Green Beans he bought at Walmart. Allen’s quickly offered Cane $200 if he agreed to keep quiet, and assured him that “the Pasteurization process renders the product sterile and completely safe for consumption.” Even worse, this isn’t the first time a dead rat’s head popped up in a can of Allen’s Green Beans…
Last year, a rat head surprised a Utah woman when she opened her can of Allen’s Italian Green Beans. That rat head earned its finder, Marianne Watson, an offer of $100 if she agreed to sign a non-disclosure agreement, which she didn’t.
Despite the bribes, Allen’s has nothing but confidence in their canning process:
Dear Mr. (redacted)
We are aware of the recent allegations regarding our product. However, we can confirm that the details released by the media are not accurate. We have spoken with the gentleman making the allegations but as of this date, none of the allegations have been confirmed as fact. What we can tell you is that because green beans grow out-of-doors and must be harvested by mechanical pickers close to the ground, it is not uncommon that field debris, insects and field pests may be present in the product when it is harvested and delivered to our plant for processing. Realizing this, we have equipped our production lines to rigorously wash and inspect raw product a half dozen times. Before filling the cans, they are inverted and steam flushed to assure cleanliness. The product is then filled into the cans with liquid, capped and cooked to the level of Pasteurization right inside the hermetically sealed cans, rendering the complete contents of the can commercially sterile. We utilize extensive quality control measures including technologically advanced equipment and trained inspectors. Just a few of the processes we utilize are quality checkpoints including blowers, de-stoning equipment, high pressure washers, metal detection and technically sensitive equipment, which scans the product for color and texture variances, rejecting any off-color object. Our company exceeds all FDA Requirements for food processing. In addition, we are constantly exploring new processes to improve our quality.
Quite honestly, we are at a loss to explain how something like this could have escaped our quality control measures and could have gotten through the rigorous quality process and into a can of our product. We want to assure you that our plants are extremely clean and our processes quite thorough. Allens places strong emphasis on quality assurance, utilizing competent, well-trained people and the best equipment in our plants and Corporate Laboratory. Our company packs millions of cans of product each year and I want to assure you that an incident such as this is extremely rare.
Although we have not had a chance to fully investigate this matter nor hear back on the results from the independent laboratory, we do know and can confirm scientifically that had there been any foreign material inside of the can, due to the stringent cooking process, the complete contents of the can would have been commercially sterile and would not have posed any sort of health hazard or threat to the public. Again, the Pasteurization process renders the product sterile and completely safe for consumption. While it is our goal that our products be aesthetically pleasing to our Customers, incidents such as this pose no health hazard or risk. Obviously this is a raw commodity grown in a field and as such, is subject to exposures that occur within nature. The FDA governs our processes and recognizes that there is no measure within the canning industry to prevent incidents of foreign material from entering the product 100% of the time.
Thank you for taking the time to contact us regarding your concerns. We sincerely hope that you will give our Company another chance.
Manager, Consumer Relations
Corporate Services Department
PO Box 250
Siloam Springs, AR 72761
As for Walmart… well, according to spokesman Phillip Keene:
Food safety is a top priority at Wal-Mart. We take customer concerns seriously.
Man who found rat head in beans says canner told him contents of can would have been safe to consume [Beaumont Enterprise]
Utah Woman Also Finds Rat Head In Green Bean Can [KFDM]