Can a tin of beans be racist? Evidently they think so in Australia, where Heinz is in the firing line for what objectors are dubbing "bigoted baked beans".

They reckon the company's latest Mean Beanz range - which boasts flavours such as Indian Snatcher, Mexican Jackal and Moroccan Rogue - suggest certain nationalities harbour criminal tendencies. Pictures on the can labels depict the beans posing in police line-ups, with an uncomplimentary profile.

The Indian Snatcher is described as: "Danger Level: Volatile if provoked. Criminal status: Serving at Long Bay."

"Any sentiments like that are not healthy," said Madhu Kalia of the India Australia Association.

Heinz said it hadn't received any complaints. "We've got a pretty diverse staff and they thought it was funny," she added.