Can water-bathed green beans be frozen?

Asked September 15, 2013, 5:03 PM EDT

Can green beans canned in a water bath 20 days ago be frozen to prevent botulism?

Multnomah County Oregon

1 Response

These should be discarded without tasting. Low-acid foods including most vegetables, meats and poultry should be processed with a pressure canner. The temperature of boiling water (212 degrees F) does not get hot enough to kill the organism that causes botulism, therefore you must use a pressure canner which reaches temperatures of at least 240 degrees F.

In the future, if you make a canning mistake and need to re-process something - it must be done within 24 hours. If the jars are allowed to sit longer than that, botulism could start developing.

The National Center for Home Food Preservation recommends detoxifying the contents of jars with potential spoilage. See page 26 in the Complete Guide to Home Canning

Here is a link to complete canning instructions and information:

For more information, you can contact our Food Preservation and Food Safety Hotline: 1-800-354-7319 Open 9- 4 M-F except Wednesdays.