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How to Recognize Spoiled Food


You will want to examine each jar very carefully prior to using it. First check to see that the vacuum seal is present. Do not use any food product that shows signs of having spoiled or if the lid is unsealed. Spoilage produces gasses that cause the lids to swell and/or break the seal. Canned food that is sealed with a lid that does not require a can opener to pry it off must not be used. Also, visually examine your jars for other signs of spoilage which could be present.

Signs of possible Spoiled Food:

*Broken Seals
*Yeast Growth
*Spurting Liquid
*Disagreeable Odors

Your home canned foods that are showing signs of being spoiled need to be disposed of in a way that no person or animal will come into contact with the food. Canning jars that are suspected of containing spoiled low-acid or tomato products have to be handled very carefully. Spoiled vegetables, meats, poultry, seafoods, and tomato products must be detoxified to prevent any possible contamination from botulism that could be present. To detoxify the food, jar, lid, and band, place all of the items into a deep pot. It is not necessary to remove the food from the jar. Carefully cover all items with 1 to 2 inches of water. Cover the pot. Bring the water to a boil and boil for 30 minutes. Be careful not to splash water or food outside of the pot. Allow the contents of the pot to cool. Discard all of the contents of the pot.

To clean the surfaces that came into contact with the suspect food you will need to use a solution of chlorine bleach and water (1 part chlorine bleach to 5 parts water). Allow the cleaning solution to stand for 5 minutes before rinsing. Dispose of sponges, hand towels, and dishcloths that were used in the detoxifying process.


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Always be sure to have the appropriate canning supplies on hand.