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Canning -- Tomatoes

What causes flat-sour spoilage of canned tomatoes?

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Flat-sour spoilage is caused by microorganisms that survive a boiling water bath processing heat treatment. They are classified as thermophilic, heat loving. This type of spoilage is not a health hazard but the product is inedible. To minimize the chance of spoilage, be sure tomatoes are washed well. Also, do not let jars remain in the boiling water bath or pressure canner after processing. Remove them to cool on the counter. Store canned tomatoes in a cool dark location.

PREPARED BY: Angela M. Fraser, Ph.D., Associate Professor/Food Safety Specialist, and Carolyn J. Lackey, Ph.D., R.D., L.D.N., Professor/Food and Nutrition Specialist, North Carolina State University (August 2004)

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