Very old canned tomatoes

Asked October 10, 2018, 6:23 AM EDT

We cleaning out a basement, found 20 jars of canned tomatoes. These jars are very old we estimate 30 to 40 years. How do we dispose of this food, will it contain botulism spores

Branch County Michigan

1 Response


If the jars are still sealed, use rubber or heavy plastic gloves, and place the contents in disposable containers that can be sealed and put them in a heavy garbage bag. Place the bag in a regular trash container or dispose in a nearby landfill. To clean the jars, or anything the contents may have touched such as a can opener, counter, dishcloths and etc. use rubber or heavy plastic gloves. Wash the jars with hot soapy water, rinse and then use a solution of 1 part unscented liquid household chlorine bleach to 5 parts clean water and allow jars to sit in this solution for 30 minutes. Allow to air dry. Then run jars through a dishwasher or rinse well and air dry jars again (washing and sanitizing not necessary the second time).

Thank you for using eXtension Ask an Expert. Information came from the National Center for Home Food Preservation