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Food Safety Issues/canning homemade spagetti sauce with meat


i canned some jars of homemade meat spagetti sauce with italian sausage in a regular canner last week saturday and they are stored in a cold cellar in sealed jars at about 5 degrees Celsius since then.

i read afterwards that lower acid foods should be canned in a pressure cooker for optimal food safety. i will have access to a pressure cooker canner on monday about 8 days after the original canning. is my sauce still safe from the original canning ?? if so can i re-can the sauce in the original jars or should i empty them and start with a fresh batch of jars ??

Dear Wolfgang,

Improperly processed foods can be not reconditioned and made safe to consume.  Even though your jars sealed and are being kept in a cool location, it is possible for botulism to grow (it ONLY grows in no-air environments such as a sealed jar) and in it's early stages shows no signs that it is present.

Improperly canned low-acid foods (such as your spaghetti sauce with Italian sausage) may contain the toxin that causes botulism without showing signs of spoilage. Low-acid foods are considered improperly canned if the food was NOT processed in a pressure canner since the only way to deactivate botulism is to heat to a temperature of 240 degrees F (116 degrees C)

Because improperly canned low-acid foods can contain the toxin that causes botulism without showing signs of spoilage, they should also be detoxified and then discarded. To detoxify your jars, carefully remove the lid from the jar. Place the jar of food and the lid in a saucepot. (No need to remove the food from the jar as removing it could contaminate other items.) Add enough hot water to cover the jars. Boil for 30 minutes and then cool. Drain water and dispose of food and lid. The jar may be reused.

Surfaces that come in contact with the questionable food should be cleaned with a solution of one part chlorine bleach to five parts water. Wet the surface with this solution and let stand five minutes before rinsing


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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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