Michigan State University Extension
Preserving Food Safely - 01600953


Do not taste food from a jar with an unsealed lid or
food which shows signs of spoilage. You can more easily
detect some types of spoilage in jars stored without screw
bands. Growth of spoilage bacteria and yeast produces gas
which pressurizes the food, swells lids, and breaks jar
seals. As each stored jar is selected for use, examine its
lid for tightness and vacuum. Lids with concave centers
have good seals.

Next, while holding the jar upright at eye level,
rotate the jar and examine its outside surface for streaks
of dried food originating at the top of the jar. Look at
the contents for rising air bubbles and unnatural color.

While opening the jar, smell for unnatural odors and
look for spurting liquid and cotton like mold growth (white
blue, black, or green) on the top food surface and underside
of lid.

Carefully discard any jar of spoiled food to prevent
possible illness to you, your family, and pets. Before
discarding, detoxify spoiled low-acid food. Remove the jar
lid; then place the jar, its contents, and the loose lid in
hot water and add enough water to cover the jar. Boil all
items in the water for 30 minutes. Cool and discard jar
contents in garbage or bury in soil. This will prevent
accidental poisoning.

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