I am learning how to can this year and did my last batch of tomatoes. I thought I did everything right, but then I realized I forgot to add canning salt to the last batch. Are these tomatoes any good now? I don't want to eat them if they can get bacteria. I am unsure exactly why salt is added to the canning process.
The only time salt is required in canning is when you are making pickles. It is optional in tomatoes and other vegetables, so your tomatoes should be fine to eat, as long as you followed a research-based, tested recipe and processed them properly.
Be certain you added acid to them before you canned them. Tomatoes need additional acid (usually in the form of bottled lemon juice) to prevent botulism from developing. Please refer to our publication Canning Tomatoes and Tomato Products for the full canning instructions.
Here are some other helpful online resources for you:
- OSU Extension food preservation publications: http://extension.oregonstate.edu/fch/food-preservation
- National Center for Home Food Preservation: http://nchfp.uga.edu/