Is It Safe To Eat Cold Soup Straight From The Can?

TikTok star Alix Earle eats canned soup without heating it, and she's wondering if that's okay.

Last week, social media personality Alix Earle, she of pork roll bagel fame, released a 14-second TikTok that turned some heads.

"I have an extreme hot take," Earle said in the video, holding a can of Progresso Chicken & Homestyle Noodle Soup. "Recently I've been opening up soup from the can and eating it cold. Is that okay to do?"

The video, which as I type this has 3.6 million views, got quite the reaction. Campbell's Chunky's brand account simply replied with, "Alix pls," and people weighed in with opinions ranging from support to concern. While several people remarked that it was, indeed, not a hot take but a cold one, others questioned the safety of the move.

@alixearle

Kristin was appalled when i did this 😭

♬ original sound – Alix Earle

"No, you gotta heat it up to get the bacteria and the botulism out," wrote one responder.

The botulism take is actually something I've heard before. I have a family member who always dispenses the canned soup into a pot and brings it to a rolling boil, to "kill" whatever might have grown inside. It never seemed quite necessary to me, but I wasn't sure. Luckily, Progresso has officially weighed in on the matter. In a press statement, the soup company said it is fine to eat its soup at room temperature, if that is, for some reason, something you're into.

"Our soups provide high-quality meals without the extra prep work or cooking time needed, so we can definitely get behind this extreme hot take – even if it means no kitchen time required," said Shannon Heine, Progresso's Brand Experience Manager. "We're happy to settle the debate! Our soups can be consumed cold but whatever temperature you prefer, we agree with Alix that soup is elite – maybe even the new 'It Girl' of the pantry?"

Earle is by no means the first person to wonder about the practice. The question was posted on the website The New Survivalist in 2020, and the article explained that canned soup is perfectly safe to eat.

"The primary reason to heat up canned soup is to enhance its flavors and to help keep you warm when it's cold," that article said. "There's nothing unhealthy about eating cold canned soup."

Even if it's not unsafe, the notion of enhancing the soup's flavors is a worthwhile consideration. Earle, however, is apparently not alone in her affinity for cold (or room temperature) canned soup. Plenty of commenters on her TikTok said they, too, eat soup right out of the can, and several people reported that SpaghettiO's and canned ravioli are also good directly from the can. With this blossoming list of allegedly tasty cold canned goods, we've begun to wonder just how many room-temp wonders are lurking in the pantry.

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