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The Pull-Tab Seafood Can Lid – A 1990 Game Changer

All of our canned seafood comes in tins with an easy-open pull tab lid–something that was radical for canned seafood in Canada back in 1990.

The pull-tab can lid idea was originally brought to St. Jean’s by the Hagensborg Food Company. The company had found a similar can in Norway, and wanted to use that design for a new line of paté, to be processed & canned at St. Jean’s.

However, the Department of Fisheries kiboshed the idea; the law at the time stated that can production codes had to be stamped and embossed on the lid of a seafood can. St. Jean’s knew this wouldn’t have worked on the pull-tab lids, and rigged up a setup to print the codes on the bottom of the can (as is still done today).

After performing an extensive number of special tests to prove that these lids wouldn’t crack (and pointing out that vegetable canners had already been putting production codes on the bottom of cans for years), the government gave the go-ahead to use the lids. Soon after, they were adapted for salmon cans; 25 years later, they are on all of our canned products, helpful and handy as ever. Thank you, Norway, for helping us flip our lids!

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