Canned Kidney Beans and Food Poisoning??

Updated on June 26, 2012
E.B. asks from Tacoma, WA
10 answers

I made homemade chili for dinner Saturday evening. We used can Red kidney beans and pinto beans as our legumes. I know that they can cause serious food poisoning. Especially in little ones and older folks. I thought it was more common if you bought and soaked your own.

My youngest had two giant helpings for chili and has been the only one so far to get sick. He threw up once and has painful gas and cramps in his tummy. He starting yelling, ''mommy my tomach horts''. My heart sunk. I am a fish-a-terian and normally steer clear of most beans. These had been up in the cabinet for sometime(not yet expired though). I have looked at alot of stuff online now this morning. All my answers lead me to think it is kidney bean poisoning. Has anyone known someone or had this themselves? I hate diagnosing things online. I had banned myself from it because it can cause you to go crazy with the possibilities. So, this is more just out of concern and not being able to sleep now.

The rest of us either didnt eat the chili or only ate a little bit. So far no one else is sick. So i am guessing by the fact he had two giant bowls and only threw up the bean portions this is what is going on. It also said that given the age of person and what not they can be affected worse then others. He may have just overloaded his system with the kidney bean HAU as the mayo clinic called it.

Thank you for peace of mind!!

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So What Happened?

I think he over ate. to much of anything is not good. And a whole lotta fiber for a little one can cause this. So, now i know one bowl of chili is more then enough. I should take it as a compliment he wants seconds but not necessarily a must have. Even my hubby couldtn believe he went in for seconds. He was like wow, this is filling and he is still eating!! he has been sleeping since about 430 this morning!! so hopefully he is sleeping it off too!! he had two giant poopy diapers before bed. not runny so i am really thinking his body was just done processing fiber.

I am ruling out a stomach bug. He has to usually do a trip to the ER with bugs. He has a condition or tummy that once he starts throwing up with stomach bugs, he cant stop. If there is an exacted name for it i have never been informed. Anyways we have to have zofran in the house for him at all times(zofran is a vomiting medication they give to extremely ill patients and people undergoing chemotherapy). I got half his dose in last night. So i am am hoping that if it was a tummy bug we headed it off before he got really sick.

Thank you for letting me blame the beans! We will most likely never know what it was. I dont care as long as i know he is feeling better!!

Featured Answers


answers from Norfolk on

If it were some kind of food poison, then everyone who had some, even a little, would be sick in some way too. A stomach does not throw up selectively (only the beans portion) as far as I know.
It could be he had a mild stomach bug (I've been the one to get rota-virus about once every 10 years while the rest of the family is fine (we all eat the same foods) - one bout of throwing up/diarrhea and I'm done for another 10 years).
There are lots of reasons for a stomach to be off every once in awhile.
As long as it doesn't last a long time (chance of becoming dehydrated), have a fever or have other lingering symptoms, I wouldn't worry.

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answers from Albuquerque on

The toxins in kidney beans are removed when they're soaked and cooked. Canned beans are cooked REALLY WELL so it's almost impossible that the toxin made it through the factory. But if it had, you'd all be sick. Very sick. One taste would be enough to sicken a person.

Given the symptoms your son has, it sounds like he just ate too many beans for his little tummy. His stomach probably can't process all the fiber, which is leading to his internal bloating (gas and cramps).

No fun for either of you!

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answers from San Francisco on

From what I've read, kidney bean poisoning only occurs in the raw bean. You turned your beans into chili which, I assume, means you cooked them well.

It sounds like he overindulged, got a tummy ache, barfed and feels better now. As long as he's not running a fever and not still barfing he should be ok.

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answers from Chicago on

I'm not a doctor, but is it possible he had way too much fiber? I love black bean soup, but even as an adult it can be a little much. Think of how much less it would take to irritate a little one's stomach. Painful cramps and gas is definitely a sign of fiber overload.

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answers from New York on

I use canned kidney beans pretty often
(2-3 cans in a meal). i rinse them well and they cook for at least an hour. we have not had this problem occurring like you did. if you all had even a bite you all would have gotten food poisoning. maybe he is just battling a stomach virus that happened the day you cooked the beans.

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answers from Cumberland on

In the future, it is best to rinse canned beans-the juices they are canned in can produce a lot of tummy distress-you will notice when you are rinsing them-that they will produce bubbles.

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answers from Phoenix on

I didn't read your prior posts but know you are supposed to rinse canned beans really well before using them. Hope he feels better soon!



answers from Cincinnati on

I agree with the people who say he over might be a protien thing to. protien is hard to digest. is your son a pescatarian too? (or as you called t fish a terian lol I have never heard it called that!) he might not be use to all the protien (keep in mind that when you serve him fish he is most likely not eating as much as you and beans have a large amount of protien for just a 1/2 cup)



answers from Boca Raton on

I had the SAME problem last night. Exept I am 20 weeks pregnant. I decided to make some homemade chili. I also used red canned kidney beans. I had never even heard of getting sick from kidney beans! I even cooked them in a crockpot for three hours. LAter that night my stomach was really upset and my husband was extremely nausious the next morning and vomiting. I too think it was because of the kidney beans. I have been told that canned beans are impossible to get sick from due to no toxins, but apparently you and i had the same problem. I wish i knew for sure though.


answers from Eugene on

I soak and cook mine from scratch. Seldom do I open a can. If I do I choose Amy's as it is organic.
Your son could be a type O blood. They don't do well with beans. Wait a few weeks and try a couple of teaspoons. If he gets bad gas (gas in normal with beans) then he should not eat them.
You could call the Poison Control Center in Georgia about the beans. Do you still have the can? They can tell from the number if it was a bad batch that has previously been reported. They will ask lots of good questions as they are professionals at Poison Control. (open 24/7) I have used their services.
Is your son resting comfortably now? If not take him to the ER if he's still sick.
That he threw up is good. It means they didn't all go through his system.


1-800-222-1222. If you are in the USA this is the number. Write it down.
Poison Control Center. We moms never know when we will need it.

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