Inhaled Food Buckets
by Nikki Willhite
Recently my family made a mail order purchase of dehydrated sliced potatoes. I was not very pleased when the container arrived. The large bucket of potatoes was seriously distorted.
The first thing I did was to take a close look at the box that the bucket came in. Surprisingly the box was in perfect shape. That seemed odd. I could only assume the container was shipped damaged. So I gave the company a phone call.
The company was very nice and gave me the email address of the customer service representative. He responded promptly to my concerns. He assured me that the potatoes were not sent out damaged. He said they were damaged in transit to my house. He said they would send me another bucket, but there was no guarantee it wouldn’t happen again.
What? Basically he said that some pails of food leave the warehouse, and then suffer changes in pressure during shipping which affects the cans. The cans “inhale” and distort in shape.
This was news to me, as it had never happened before to anything I had ordered in the mail. I can only assume that because items like rice and beans compact tightly there is less room for air in the bucket. I say assume because I don’t know what the can looks like inside because I haven’t opened it. If I open it the seal will be broken, and there goes the extended life of the product.
I was, of course, extremely hopeful that such a disfigured can would not arrive on my doorstep again. No such luck. When my husband pulled the second can of dehydrated potatoes out of the box it looked just as bad as the first one.
Now I know that food storage cans are not art objects, but they mean a lot to me. I have spent a lot of money on the foods that I am storing for emergencies or hard times in the future, and my food collection represents the potential security of my family. I must say it is hard to appreciate an inhaled bucket.
I was told by the food representative that “inhaled buckets” are still sealed and that the food is safe to eat. Unless I want to open that can myself, there is no way for me to confirm that at this point. I do find it hard to believe, however, that I will not eventually open it and look. Until then, I will try to store the bucket in the least offensive way possible.
I might be more inclined to believe the inhaled bucket scenario if I could have found reference to anything similar during my time on the Google search engine.
So the moral here is to be careful about shipping potatoes to your home. Be mindful of the location where you buy them and the road to your home. The location where we purchased our potatoes has an altitude over 4,000 feet. We are at sea level. Apparently that is not a pleasant for journey for dehydrated potatoes.