Many tin cans are lined with BPA which has been connected with various health issues in various studies.

Is there a way to determine whether a can of food contains BPA lining?

  • Can the place of manufacture/packaging give an indication?

  • Is there something obvious from the appearance of the inside of the can?

7 Answers 7


Probably not. Cans are generally marked at point of filling, not at point of manufacturing

The plastic liner looks plastic'y in all cases, it's very hard to tell. Epoxy is harder than other plastics, but there are epoxies that are BPA free anyway

Aluminium cans are more likely have a epoxy liner that will give off a trace of BPA

Many steel cans do not use epoxy or other BPA plastics

Having said that the tested BPA release from a can is 100's of times lower than the recommended maximum daily dose. So in theory there is nothing to really worry about

The common sense answer is, if epoxy dissolved into the cans contents they wouldn't use it would they. The whole reason it's there is to stop the contents 'eating' the can

  • This'll work, but you'll need access to a lab: pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/ed1006053 Nov 30, 2012 at 13:35
  • 3
    The common sense answer is most likely correct, but it is a bit of a gloss. It's within the realm of possibility that the dissolution happens slowly enough that the metal is unaffected over the can's expected lifetime, while still producing undesirable reactions with the contents.
    – jscs
    Nov 30, 2012 at 20:30

All American produced tuna cans for Bumble Bee, Chicken of the Sea and Starkist (and American Samoa) have been in non BPA cans for many years. Imported cans, usually from south east asia, are epoxy lined. Check the label for fill location when deciding where to buy.

All sardine cans produced in Canada in aluminum cans do not contain BPA.

Many suppliers, like Seneca Foods and Campbells soup are in the process of converting to non BPA lined cans.

All infant formula cans do not contain BPA.

Overall, much of the food industry is changed or changing. The soda and beer industries are lagging behind.

  • 1
    Very cool information. Do you have any sources you could share with us?
    – Preston
    Dec 30, 2013 at 5:35

Best way lately is check through the manufacturer's web site or facebook.

A few examples:

Bumble Bee foods: https://www.facebook.com/BumbleBeeFoods/posts/10150693120743417

Starkist: https://www.facebook.com/starkist/posts/420498509974

Seneca foods: www.senecafoods.com/press-release/seneca-foods-goes-bpa-non-intent

Lastly, where the can is manufactured doesn't determine whether it has or doesn't have BPA. There's plenty of epoxy coated cans manufactured in Italy.


I read a few years ago that Kroger (they own a lot of different grocery store chains) stopped using cans that contain BPA in their store brand products (such as Private Selection.)


If you are lookin for the source to tell if there is bpa, if they are from the eu you can only be assured they are bpa free if the food is meant for infants.



I have heard it is banned from all products sold in the European Union.

  • Hello, and welcome to the site! We are a strictly cooking site, and only allow health considerations in the rare case where they don't become part of the discussion. This is one such case: the OP noted that his concern is related to health, but only asked about a specific technical problem - how to detect a certain type of material in food - which does not require anybody to further comment on the healthy-or-not aspect. This is why the question was permitted. But adding answers which discuss health aspects is not. The only line in your answer which actually has something to do with
    – rumtscho
    Oct 18, 2014 at 9:06
  • the original question is the first line, so this is the only thing I can leave in the answer after an edit. The rest is lecturing on what stuff might cause health problems - please don't do that, there are health professionals for it.
    – rumtscho
    Oct 18, 2014 at 9:08
  • You've heard? Is this actually true? I searched for "eu bpa" and immediately found this EFSA page which says it's approved for use in food contact materials.
    – Cascabel
    Oct 19, 2014 at 5:16

Yes - look for foods canned in Italy.

  • 3
    So... canned goods from Italy never have BPA? Or always do?
    – Cascabel
    Jan 13, 2014 at 8:16

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.