Food Safety Issues/Home Canned foods

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Question
A friend canned lots of vegetables this past summer and the only place to store them was her garage.  After some very cold winter days she discovered some jars had frozen.  Will these vegetables be safe for consumption after they thaw? If so how long will they be safe for consumption?

Answer
Hi Kathy,

The general guideline for frozen foods in glass jars is that if the jars have cracked or broken during freezing, the food should not be used.

If the seal is still intact and the jar is not cracked or broken, the food is still safe to use. You friend should gradually thaw the jars and then store them at room temperature. Tell her to recheck the seals after thawing to make sure they are tightly sealed. If the seals have broken and the food has thawed to room temperature, they should be discarded.

If the seals have broken and the food is still cold (refrigerator temperature - 41 degrees F or below), they can be safely salvaged. Store any cold jars in the refrigerator and use within 4 days. For longer storge, your friend could freeze the food in a new container (plastic freezer bag, freezer jar, etc) for future use.

All food in glass jars that were frozen should be examined carefully for spoilage before use. For an extra margin of safety, boil low-acid foods (meat, fish, poultry, vegetables) for 10 minutes before using.

All home canned foods in jars should be used within 1 year of processing for best quality and safety.

Carol

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Carol Schlitt

Expertise

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

Experience

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 - www.safeandsavorysolution.com

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

Education/Credentials
BS - University of Illinois MS - Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville

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