Is olive oil safe in canned homemade spaghetti sauce?

Asked October 2, 2013, 1:25 PM EDT

I worked for 3 days making spaghetti sauce from fresh tomatoes. Now I'm ready to can it, and on the internet, it said if you can it with olive oil in it, you could get botulism. I have about 1/4 cup of olive oil in it. What do I do with it now?

Lancaster County Pennsylvania

1 Response

You can freeze the sauce with no safety issues. If you prepared your spaghetti sauce using recipe from a reliable source such as USDA, National Center for Food Preservation, or other research base, and it called for oil, then follow the directions that were included for canning the sauce. From your question, I assume you have prepared your own version of spaghetti sauce; so I cannot make any recommendations for canning because I do not know the proportions of ingredients used. There are specific proportions of ingredients that need to be followed for safety. You will find a recipe in the Penn State Extension “Let’s Preserve Tomatoes” publication that calls for onion, garlic, peppers or celery, and mushrooms as well as oil that you could use in the future. This recipe is research based and needs to be pressure canned. This publication can be found at: http://pubs.cas.psu.edu/FreePubs/pdfs/uk120.pdf .