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Jan 20, 2007 05:21 PM

Help! Canned items possibly gone bad

So I pulled some pickled beets (sealed in jars) out of my garage (where they've remained very cold) and some of them have milky spots. Is this a sign of spoilage? Should I throw them out? Thanks!

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  1. milky spots sounds like mold. i'd toss 'em.

    1. When in doubt, throw it out. How old are they, anyway?

      1 Reply
      1. re: SweetPhyl

        6 or 8 months old but rather toss them than make someone sick.

      2. If the can is intact, no rust, no bulges, open it. Nothing's going to mysteriously pass through intact metal.

        As long as nothing spurts out, indicating gas production inside, it should be OK. But storing canned goods where they experience wide temperature swings is not a great idea. Not for food safety reasons per se so much as quality concerns and potential physical damage to the can. If they freeze or get very hot (during the Summer), for example, they may well burst a seam if the can has them.

        1. Not so much "burst" like a balloon, obviously, but cause enough damage to allow faster deterioration if not outright contamination.

          1 Reply
          1. re: MikeG

            they are in GLASS JARS, so obviously are home-canned. she can see mold.

          2. Right you are - I focussed on the "canned" part and the other bit went right past me. Yeah, especially with home-canned low-acid foods, pickled or otherwise, throwing out when in the least doubt is absolutely the way to go. But the part about not storing in a garage applies with even more force.