Green bean casserole is one of my favorite dishes. Lots of people serve it as a side dish, but it always ends up being the main course for me. It’s a typical staple at our family Thanksgiving dinners, so much so that I decided to bring my own GB casserole to Doug’s Canadian Thanksgiving. I’ve never had any food safety problems (that I know of) with my casseroles, but unfortunately a woman in Utah had quite a nasty surprise when she went to make her GB casserole. A dead rat head in the green beans ruined a Super Bowl green bean casserole in Texas. Even more disturbingly, the company that produced the green beans is a repeat offender. A can of Allen’s Italian Green Beans was found to contain a rat head back in June, along with another report in 2007 from Utah.
But don’t worry about the rat head. It’s “commercially sterile.” Though high temperatures for cooking (265 degrees) ensure that the product is free from bacteria, the appearance of rat heads in a vegetable product is unsettling for most consumers. The fact that there have been three reports of rat heads in this particular brand of green beans should cause a big blip to appear in anyone’s food safety radar.
Unless Allen’s Canned Vegetables wants to start listing “dead rat” on it’s ingredient list, a thorough cleaning and inspection of the packing facility is in order.