How do I know my canned food is safe?

Asked October 25, 2018, 1:02 PM EDT

I made a couple of errors last night in my first canning attempt and wonder if I should discard everything.
1. Canning pumpkin. I didn't notice that the pumpkin should not be pureed before canning. The pumpkin was bubbling in a pot prior to filling my 1/2 pint jars. Clean edges, finger tip tight seal.
2. I put the weight on once there was a steady stream of steam, but didn't wait the 10 minutes.
3. Digital pressure gauge at 11 lbs for 75 minutes (the time indicated in the recipe for pints.)
4. When I pulled the cans out, there was some discoloration to the water, like some of the pumpkin juice had escaped the jars.

Clackamas County Oregon food safety home food preservation

2 Responses

Thanks for contacting Ask the Expert. You can not safely pressure can puréed pumpkin due to its viscosity. Depending on how you’ve handled the pumpkin since removing it from the canned, and if it’s within 24 hours, you could freeze it for later use. It also sounds like you experienced some errors during the canning process which also would have resulted in an unsafe product on the shelf.

Thank you! That is the answer I expected to get. Finished at 10:00 p.m. last night so will freeze them by 6:00 p.m. tonight.