Food Safety Issues/Mold on Salsa Jar


This evening I made chili with a recipe that calls for jarred salsa. I used about a half a cup of salsa in the chili. The chili was brought to a boil and cooked at a simmer for about 20 minutes. After we ate I noticed that there was mold on the lid and rim of the salsa jar. I'm not sure how long the salsa was in my refrigerator but the best by date on the jar was 7/25/12. Will this make my family sick? Can we eat the left over chili or should it be tossed. Thank you for your response.

Hi Tina,

If the salsa did have mold on it, boiling it in the chili would kill it and render it harmless. Your family should not have any harmful affects of consuming the chili.

Eating foods with visible mold is not healthy, but is not a severe threat either. Since you said the mold was on the lid and rim, chances are that there wasn't any mold down inside the jar where the salsa was.

The best by date on the jar is for the quality of the product, not for it's safety.  The date signifies the date which the manufacturer guarantees the quality of the product.

Your leftover chili should be safe to consume, but be sure to bring it to a rolling boil before consuming.

Happy Thanksgiving.


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Carol Schlitt


I can answer questions on home food safety, sanitation and home food preservation.


I am a former Extension educator, nutrition, wellness and food safety, having retired August 1, 2010. I am a food safety instructor for the Illinois Department of Public Health, a ServSafe Instructor/Proctor and have my own company, Safe & Savory Solutions, Inc -

National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (Past President and current Historian), St. Louis Culinary Society.

BS - University of Illinois MS - Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville

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