Advice - I canned tomatoes without lemon juice

mstywoods(z5, Westminster, CO)September 19, 2011

Hi. I'm a member of the RMG and someone there recommended I check in with this group for advice.

I'm a newbie canner, so when I canned up some tomatoes a couple of weeks ago, I didn't realize I needed to add lemon juice before processing in the water bath. So they are just straight tomatoes and juice, or some jars with onions and peppers mixed in. Do I throw them all out? Or can I safely use some of them by a certain length of time? An RMG'er suggested taking some out of the jars and putting them into baggies to freeze. Other than that, do I need to just start from scratch again?

Thanks for any expert advice!!


Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

or some jars with onions and peppers mixed in.

Those you will need to pitch IMO as they should have been pressure canned to begin with. There is no way to safely BWB process mixed low-acid vegetables unless you add a large amount (like 1 cup) of acid (vinegar, lemon juice, etc.) as one would with salsa.

The plain tomatoes - it is your choice. Personally I would toss them since it is far too late to either reprocess or freeze them and I'm not comfortable with the associated risk. But others wouldn't think twice about keeping them. If you do then I strongly recommend they be very well cooked prior to eating them so that at least any toxins will be neutralized.

Prior to 1976 most canned their tomatoes with no added acid. Since the research done then the guideline has required the acid to be added but some still choose to ignore the guidelines.

If you are going to be canning then it is well worth the time to become familiar with the current guidelines or to restrict your canning to the recipes/instructions in the current Ball Blue Book.


PS: what is RMG?

Here is a link that might be useful: NCHFP Guidelines

    Bookmark   September 19, 2011 at 8:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
mstywoods(z5, Westminster, CO)

Thanks Dave - sorry, that stands for the Rocky Mountain Gardening group

    Bookmark   September 19, 2011 at 8:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
readinglady(z8 OR)

If you feel comfortable with the risk of keeping the jars, you can carefully decant the contents into a pan and cook at a full boil for ten minutes before using in a recipe. If there are toxins, as Dave mentioned, that will kill them.

One reason veggies seldom made people sick even before the advent of more modern processing was that cooks usually used them in recipes where they were thoroughly cooked over a long period.

It's totally up to you depending upon your comfort level.


    Bookmark   September 19, 2011 at 9:42PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Linda_Lou(SW Wa.)

Canning tomatoes alone need bottled lemon juice, so adding the other low acid foods is unsafe. It is up to you if you eat the food . However, botulism only takes 2 days to create enough toxin to paralyze or kill. It has no signs in the jars. No smell, no taste, can't see it.

Technically you can boil for 10 to 15 min. before you eat the food. But, if you drip anything on the counter, a dish cloth, etc. you are still exposed to it.

You make the decision.
If jars are unsealed, the safe thing is to NOT open them. Wrap all in trash bags and dump them in the trash. Dump the jars and contents.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2011 at 2:45AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Linda Lou - the NCHFP says if jars are leaking, to boil them on their sides for 30 min to detoxify. But then dump them, jars and all.

In this case, when (I assume) they're still sealed, why can't she boil the jars for 30 min and then dump the contents but keep the jars?

Just wondering why the jars have to be pitched if spores are killed by boiling (and you don't want to eat the food after boiling for that long) - is there still a chance that the heat hasn't killed everything after 30 minutes? Or an hour?

    Bookmark   September 20, 2011 at 6:56AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Pickled beets from store canned beets
I want to can some pickled beets using canned beets...
Loquat jam bwb
These recipes I am looking at don't talk about boiling...
corn canning compound
I have heard about a compound made by the druggist...
Dehydrate Bok Choy
Does anyone have an experience dehydrating Bok Choy....
Cherry jam not setting
I made sweet cherry jam yesterday, without added pectin...
Sponsored Products
Black Metal Slated Bed with Storage Drawers - KBF229
$603.34 | Hayneedle
Sunset Trading Parkwood Dining Chair - Sage - CR-45537-15
$199.00 | Hayneedle
4' Red Cedar Classic Fanback Glider
Kitchen Serving Cart - Natural / Chrome - SC-5068
$96.99 | Hayneedle
'Be Still' Exodus Box Sign
$8.99 | zulily
Coral Coast Classic 14 x 16 in. Outdoor Toss Pillow - Set of 2 - M003-1-AFS029-S
$32.99 | Hayneedle
Ball Basket Five Arms Chandelier by Hubbardton Forge
$630.00 | Lumens
Black Metal Chest - B48-07
$556.67 | Hayneedle
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™