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Old 04-30-2009, 11:39 PM   #1
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Moldy Peach in jar.

Speaking of the safety of home canning. I talked to a buddy of mine today that opened a pint jar of peaches I canned back in august (2nd attempt at canning). Said that the peach above the liquid was moldy. I only gave out 4 or 5 jars to people and none of mine so far have had any problems other than one jar where 1 peach in the jar is discolored. I still have it in the pantry. I believe the reason for that is the peach was bruised. I have eaten over 1/2 the batch I did (30 pints in batch) personaly and havn't died or gotten sick or had any wierd stuff.

The first batch of peaches I bought the lady put about 10lbs in the same bag. By the time I drove 30 miles home they were bruised pretty bad. I canned them after removing the bruised areas and they were a little soft but not bad.

I think also the moldy jar of peaches may have lost it's seal while in transit 400 miles from grandmas house to mine and than 60+ miles up to my buddies place?

What some of your thoughts and how can I prevent this in the future?

My biggest fear is opening a can of meat and bet it botulism (sp?) or something like that.

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Old 04-30-2009, 11:58 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by MNTaxi View Post
I think also the moldy jar of peaches may have lost it's seal while in transit 400 miles from grandmas house to mine and than 60+ miles up to my buddies place?

What some of your thoughts and how can I prevent this in the future?
Hmmm ... some thoughts off the top of my head. Follow the canning instructions carefully. Liquid should cover everything in the jar with only 1/2" headspace left. No fruit should be sticking out above the liquid. If liquid boils out of the jar during processing, that jar is ruined for storage. Refrigerate and consume as soon as possible. Use only brand-new lids, never reuse them. Make sure your sanitation step on the lids is such that you are putting the lids on the jar while they are still quite hot (180F, I believe?). Seat the lid securely with the ring and leave the ring on the jar during transport.
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Old 05-01-2009, 09:37 AM   #3
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I would go with uncovered as well. And likely broken seal. The liquid covering protects the fruit from any random airborne ickies that might still be in the jar. Can't sterilize the air after all.
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Old 05-01-2009, 08:46 PM   #4
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I think also the moldy jar of peaches may have lost it's seal while in transit 400 miles from grandmas house to mine and than 60+ miles up to my buddies place?
IF the jar had lost its seal during transit the contents would have spilled out, which obviously it didn't. That means the spring lid was still on or was put on for the transit and was on tight. During that period it would be quite possible for the spring lid to cause pressure against the flat and break the seal without anyone knowing.

Usually the spring lid is removed after the 8-12 hour period after the jar is removed from the canner and cooled and should not be put back on unless the jar is opened and you need it to hold the flat on. Some people will leave it on very loose but there is always the off chance of pressure against the flat and causing a problem that is not immediately noticeable.

I'm sure this was an isolated case and I would not worry about it, though I would try to figure out how the lid came off, assuming of course that they were processed correctly in a Boiling Water Canner which I'm sure they were.

I would not worry too much about your canned meat as long as it was done by the book in a pressure canner. Single food items like that are safer than most jams.
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Old 05-01-2009, 08:57 PM   #5
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If liquid boils out of the jar during processing, that jar is ruined for storage. Refrigerate and consume as soon as possible.
Sorry but I am not aware of any supportive information for that conclusion. As long as you have a good seal the food is perfectly good. There is of course always a risk that food may contaminate the rim and weaken the seal, but that is rare and in those cases the seal will fail almost immediately. If the seal fails, either reprocess with 24 hours with a new flat or put in the refrigerator.

Also, the flats do not have to be sterilized or boiled, only heated sufficiently to soften the seal material so there is a good bond when applied to the jar rim. You could actually put on a cold lid but I would not recommend it. Sterilization occurs, as with the jar itself, after 10 minutes in the canner.

And, no, you do not leave the spring ring on unless you want to run the risk of it putting pressure on the flat and possibly popping it. The "only" purpose for the ring is to keep the flat in place during processing. Once a seal is achieved the ring should be removed. However I do include a ring when I give jars as a gift so they can reseal the jar once it is opened.
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Old 05-01-2009, 09:03 PM   #6
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I would go with uncovered as well. And likely broken seal. The liquid covering protects the fruit from any random airborne ickies that might still be in the jar. Can't sterilize the air after all.
Interesting comment. If one properly processes food in a canner there should be no "random airborne ickies" in the jar since the pasteurizing process is supposed to kill all of them. And the canning process purges the air from the jar and creates a vacuum, but if any air bubbles should still exist in the jar I would think the air, along with the contents, would be sterilized.
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Old 05-01-2009, 09:15 PM   #7
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Between ions in my hot water and my reckless canning practices, it is a wonder I've lived so long.
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Old 05-01-2009, 09:23 PM   #8
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Not all canning is done in a canner. Some canning is done in a hot water bath. I've never had a canner, pressure or otherwise. Haven't done peaches, but I've had mold show up on other things that were out of the liquid. The other jars where the food was completely covered were fine. So...just a theory. Definitely not scientific!
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Old 05-01-2009, 09:29 PM   #9
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Not all canning is done in a canner. Some canning is done in a hot water bath. I've never had a canner, pressure or otherwise. Haven't done peaches, but I've had mold show up on other things that were out of the liquid. The other jars where the food was completely covered were fine. So...just a theory. Definitely not scientific!
Acidic foods, like pure tomatoes, may be processed at a lower temperature in a boiling water bath. Less acidic foods require higher processing temperatures, hence a pressure canner. Best bet is to follow the canner's instructions carefully. I'll see if I can find a link to the instructions online.

On edit: here is a link to the USDA canning guides. http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/publication...ions_usda.html.
I guess the Ball Blue Book is still sold in paper form, doesn't seem to be available online.
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Old 05-01-2009, 09:33 PM   #10
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A Boiling Water Bath Canner is still a canner. One method is used for high-acid foods and the other, Pressure Canner, is used for low-acid foods specifically to kill the heat-resistant C. Botulinum (Botulism) spore.

When exposed to air (and bacteria) various bacterias, molds, yeasts and fungi will take the opportunity to grow. In a properly canned and sealed jar....no. Home canned foods don't contain preservatives so once they are opened they will 'spoil' faster than commercial products that contain preservatives.

And just an added note, if you have mold that you can see on the top you also have the mold down in the rest of it. You just can't see all the tentacles and threads. Don't be fooled. Many people would see mold in the jam jar and just scrape it out thinking the rest is okay....Not. Laboratory tests have shown otherwise.
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