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Canning -- Miscellaneous

How do you safely dispose of spoiled canned foods?

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All suspect jars of spoiled foods or improperly canned foods should be handled as if they were contaminated with botulinum toxin. Detoxification Process: Prepare a pressure canner just as you would if you were planning to process a load of jars. Carefully remove lids from suspect jars and place jars and lids in a pressure canner. Wash your hands thoroughly. Put the canner lid on and process the contents for 30 minutes at 10 pounds of pressure. When the pressure returns to zero, remove the jars and dispose of the food just like you would any spoiled food product since you have now destroyed any toxin if present. The jars may be cleaned and reused. Carefully scrub all counters, can openers, and anything else that may have contacted the food or jars.

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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