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Old 11-18-2013, 10:27 AM   #1
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Archaeological find! Usual question.

I know we cover this topic from time to time and the answer is usually, "When in doubt..."

So, I was cleaning out the pantry this weekend and discovered 2 jars that had somehow migrated FAR back into the Twilight zone and had never been opened. One of them is a big jar of pickles. And I'm NOT going to open that one and eat it. I'm debating how badly I want the jar back and if I DO want it back, how best to dispose of the contents.

The other find was a jar of applesauce. It is still firmly sealed, not discolored in anyway and looks as perfect as if I did it yesterday. However...the last time I canned applesauce was about 3-5 years ago. (I honestly can't remember when it was) Is this sucker still viable? It looks like it should be, but I don't think we've ever left any home canned goods this long and I'm wondering if anyone knows what the shelf life would be.

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Old 11-18-2013, 10:30 AM   #2
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I strictly adhere to the two year rule myself.

Glass jars can always be reused. When in doubt, soaking with a little bleach will kill anything and remove smells. And you will be sterilizing them before you use them again anyway, so there's no harm.
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Old 11-18-2013, 10:33 AM   #3
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Is it an actual rule Steve or just your own rule? (And it sounds like that might be a good call)
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Old 11-18-2013, 10:46 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alix View Post
Is it an actual rule Steve or just your own rule? (And it sounds like that might be a good call)
I don't know if it's an actual rule or not, but my grandmother spent 70 years of her life canning food and that was her mantra. And even if it's still safe after two years, there is almost always flavor degradation.
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Old 11-18-2013, 10:46 AM   #5
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I'm not quick to toss stuff. However, at least 3-5 years old seems like a good candidate. Even if it's safe to eat, I would expect the quality has deteriorated. Most "Use By" dates are for lost quality rather than food safety.

Also, I wouldn't hesitate to open and toss the pickles so you can save the jar.
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Old 11-18-2013, 10:52 AM   #6
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I still have a jar of brandied peaches we made over 20 years ago. Never been opened. Looks nice sitting on the back of a shelf, although the peaches seem to increasingly look like they are losing some muscle tone. Leaving it for the grandkids ( if I ever have any) to inherit.
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Old 11-18-2013, 10:55 AM   #7
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Not worth the risk. It would be a shame for someone to get sick over a jar of applesauce. As much as I hate wasting food, I'd toss it to be on the safe side.

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Old 11-18-2013, 12:20 PM   #8
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Even if it is still good I would make myself sick thinking about it!

I would pitch it a jar of apple sauce is a $1.29.

A trip to the emergency room for a family of four, priceless!
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Old 11-18-2013, 04:53 PM   #9
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Open it and taste it. It's safe to eat as long as the jar was properly sealed. Single food items tend to last a long time on the shelf. As I may have mentioned before, I'm still digging into my 2007 inventory and it all tastes just like it was canned yesterday.
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Old 11-18-2013, 05:45 PM   #10
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I too have some "vintage" canned goods, the 2007 pickled green beans are still tasty.
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