The Step You Must Take To Properly Dispose Of Spoiled Canned Food

Many Americans have taken to growing their own food after the panicked supply shortages of the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a survey published by Study Finds. In the last year alone, researchers found that eight out of every 10 Americans were growing their own fruits and vegetables. As a result, the number of Americans that preserve their own food is expected to increase as well, via Farm and Dairy.

At-home canning can be a fun and fulfilling hobby, but it does come with some risks. KXRO News reports that health officials issued warnings earlier this year when a Washington man died from botulism linked to his home canned foods. Smithsonian explains that botulism is a deadly disease that actually laid the groundwork for the U.S. food safety system after a batch of tainted olives led to several deaths. According to the CDC, botulism thrives in canned foods where mistakes in the process allow bacteria to grow. This can be prevented by properly canning low-acid foods, removing excess air from your cans, or getting rid of outdated canning recipes.

There are also other bad bacteria and molds that can get into improperly canned foods, and if they do it's important that they are disposed of correctly.

Spoiled jars need to be detoxified before disposal

If you have any spoiled jars of home canned food, then they need to be disposed of completely, and very carefully, according to University of Minnesota Extension. If you believe that some of your jars have spoiled, it's important that you don't attempt to taste any of their contents. Common signs of spoilage include bulging lids, strange odors, or any dents and breaks.

The National Center for Home Food Preservation says that if there are any breaks or leaks, then it is important that the area be cleaned well with a bleach solution to prevent any bacteria from spreading or growing in your home. Food in Jars says that any rags or towels used to clean up the spillage should also be thrown away immediately.

One of the most vital steps to take before getting rid of any spoiled jars is to completely decontaminate them first (via U of M Extension). Any suspicious jars of food (contents and all) should be put into a pot and covered completely with water. Then, boil all the components of the jars for 30 minutes to completely detoxify them. Next, leave them to cool, then dispose of them in a safe place where they won't come into contact with children or pets. This detoxification ensures that the bacteria are mostly killed before disposal. Lastly, make sure to wash your hands thoroughly if they come into contact with any containers.