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Old 04-06-2006, 08:34 AM   #1
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What is the shelf life of homemade plum jelly?

I just found a jar of homemade plum jello that DH's grandpa made for us, uh, about 4 years ago? I don't know how I let this slip - I think I was "saving" it - trying to stretch all the home jellies he made (they are soooo good) - and this poor jar got shoved in the corner.

I opened it (very hard!) and had to pry the metal lid off with a knife. I have never tasted plum jelly so I don't know if I did if I would know if it didn't taste right. Plus, I'm a little nervous.

Does anyone know the shelf life of homemade plum jelly?

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Old 04-06-2006, 09:38 AM   #2
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You might want to click on the following link and read what the National Center for Home Food Preservation has to say about this on their Jam & Jelly FAQ page under: How long can I keep my homemade jams and jellies on the shelf?

A lot would depend on the recipe and how it was canned. It sounds like the vacuum seal was still intact, so if it shows no signs of mold or yeast activity then it possibly would be okay to eat.

Tasting any canned food is NOT a good way to test for its safety unless you don't mind turning your body into a microbiology lab incubator and wating for 24-48 hours to see if you become ill before serving it to anyone else!
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Old 04-06-2006, 09:50 AM   #3
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It should be all right...bacteria don't like all that sugar. That's why sugar is used as a preservative.
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Old 04-06-2006, 11:19 AM   #4
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If you had to work that hard to pry the lid off I would say that it was well sealed and that there is little likelihood of any bacteria being able to breach the seal. I would say you are safe. I've eaten MUCH older jam/jelly. CharlieD could likely weigh in on this one too!
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Old 04-07-2006, 10:45 AM   #5
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It should be fine. Jelly never sits around long but when I was a kid we would find jars of jams and jellies in the root cellar that had been down there so long the sugars had started to crystalize. We would scrap off the crystalized parts and eat the rest.

Now if the seal is broken or you do not her the slight sound of suction when you open it, I would be very suspicious. Also it should smell good.
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Old 04-08-2006, 07:45 AM   #6
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I'd eat it if the seal was still intact and there was no mold. Of course, I'm of the generation where we sealed things with paraffin! I made it to 67 without dying of botulism.
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Old 04-08-2006, 09:33 AM   #7
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I'm of the same mind as those above ... if it was sealed tightly (and popped when you opened it), there is no visible mold or other yuck on the top or around the edges and if it doesn't smell sour, I would eat it.
We found jars of old preserves (and pickles and maple syrup) in my grandmother's basement when she moved out - still very yummy!
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Old 04-11-2006, 08:24 AM   #8
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I am in the process of finishing a jar of plum jelly I made 3 or 4 years ago.

P.S. Just now went back and red the replies, thank Alix, how did you know I would have some to say about that? I actually have couple of jars rasbery jellies that I use only for medicinal purposes, the were made 5 or 6 years ago. Really if there is no mold and it doesn't look like it is fermenting, you are okay. I'm one to always say just taste. Taste just a bit, you do not even have to swalow it. Your taste buds will tell you if it's good or bad. If you like it, enjoy it. If not, just spit out and dump the jar.
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Old 04-11-2006, 12:25 PM   #9
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Charlie, I have noticed that you and I have similar interests and figured you'd be here sooner or later!
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Old 04-11-2006, 01:51 PM   #10
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I find a jam or marmalade back on the shelf that is 4 or 5 yrs old and it is just fine.
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