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Storage Time For Canning

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by Dixie Angel on January 06, 2006 09:03 AM
Got a quick question for all of you that can...

My mother-in-law cans a lot during the summer. She shares canned peas, corn, tomatoes, jellies, and such...

Tonight while eating supper, I noticed an off taste to the peas. I was wondering if they spoiled. They were canned in the year 2002. How long are canned foods safe after processing?

I still have several jars of peas and such that she gave us when we visited Tennessee during the holiday season. Are they safe to eat?

Dianna

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by comfrey on January 06, 2006 10:45 AM
As far as safe to eat I am not sure...But in my opinion, most home canned foods if stored properly are good for a couple of years, But the generally rule I use is, if it looks bad in anyway or is off color, smells bad or doesn't taste right throw it out....It is so easy to get food poisoning from foods like this. Anything veggie wise that I have left at the new season I usually throw it out, since I am growing fresh to replenish my stock. 2002 is quite a few years and I wouldn't risk it if it has an off taste.

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by Dixie Angel on January 06, 2006 11:12 AM
Thank you, Comfrey.

It seems that I have read somewhere that you shouldn't eat anything over a year old, but I can't remember where I saw it online. Jim's parents keep things for a long time and it worries me. If I could find out where I saw that, maybe I could print it out and send it to my mother-in-law to show how dangerous it is.

I think I would feel more comfortable eating something within a year after processing. When I can tomatoes and peas, I am lucky if they last a month or two around here. We love home-canned foods...

Dianna

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by tkhooper on January 06, 2006 10:22 PM
Here is the information about canning from the Ohio University Extention Service.

Storing Canned Foods

Tightly sealed, cooled jars are ready to be stored. Wash the lid and jar to remove food residue; rinse and dry jars. Label and date jars, and store them in a cool, dark, dry place (5070 degrees F is ideal). Do not store jars above 95 degrees F or near hot pipes, a range, a furnace, in an uninsulated attic, or in direct sunlight. Under conditions such as these, food will lose quality rapidly and may spoil. Dampness may corrode metal lids, break seals, and allow contamination and spoilage. Plan to use home-canned food within one year for optimum quality and nutritional value.

How to Identify and Handle Spoiled Canned Food

Never taste food from a jar with an unsealed lid or food that shows signs of spoilage. As you use jars of food, examine the lid for tightness and vacuum; lids with concave centers have good seals.

Before opening the jar, examine the contents for rising gas bubbles, and unnatural color. While opening the jar, smell for unnatural odors and look for spurting liquid and mold growth (white, blue, or green) on the top food surface and underside of lid.

Spoiled acidic food should be discarded in a place where it will not be eaten by humans or pets.

Treat all jars and cans of spoiled low-acid foods, including tomatoes, as though they contain botulinum toxin and handle in one of two ways:

If suspect glass jars are still sealed, place them in a heavy garbage bag. Close the bag, and place it in a regular trash container or bury it in a landfill.

If the suspect glass jars are unsealed, open, or leaking, detoxify (destroy the bacteria) as follows before disposal:

Carefully place the containers and lids on their sides in an eight-quart or larger pan. Wash your hands thoroughly. Carefully add water to the pan until it is at least one inch above the containers. Avoid splashing the water. Place a lid on the pan, and heat the water to boiling. Boil 30 minutes to ensure that you have destroyed all toxins. Cool and discard the lids and food in the trash, or bury in soil. Sanitize all counters, containers, and equipment that may have touched the food or containers don't forget the can opener, your clothing, and hands. Place any sponges or washcloths used in the cleanup in a plastic bag and discard.

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by Dixie Angel on January 07, 2006 04:08 AM
Thank you, Tammy!

Dianna

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by tkhooper on January 07, 2006 04:54 AM
Your welcome.

I was thinking I was probably adding way to much information but it seemed useful so I went ahead and copied it.

I want to can but haven't gotten the money up to buy the nice canner/pressure cooker. I'll get there one day. Just not yet lol.

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by comfrey on January 07, 2006 02:20 PM
tk ...I got my pressure canner at a yard sale for about $20 and then bought another for $10, so keep your eyes open for yard sales...The main thing is to make sure it has a good seal, those are replaceable and fairly resonable to replace. My county extension office will test the guage on them for free...all you have to do is take them the lid, small appliance stores will also test the guage. So a used one is a good buy!

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by tkhooper on January 07, 2006 05:19 PM
If I could drive I'd try the yard sales but I don't so I can't go to them. Sounds like you got really good buys though.

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by Amigatec on January 07, 2006 09:31 PM
I got mine free from the In-laws, the one I have is about a 1958 model but is still works, and I can still buy parts for it.

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One OS to rule them, one OS to find them:
One OS to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the Land of Redmond where the shadows lie.
by tkhooper on January 07, 2006 11:10 PM
Well if they are out there I'll find one someday. Or something will turn up. I just need to be patient.

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by comfrey on January 08, 2006 01:51 PM
tk ask around at church, someone proable has one that they do not use anymore that you might be able to get for free or very reasonable...Oh trade home canned something or plants for it.

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