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Mar 11, 2010 07:37 AM

how do you know if tomato sauce has gone bad?

In early January this year, I picked up a large can of San Marzano tomatoes from Costco and made some tomato sauce - added onions and garlic sauteed in olive oil. I divided them in several glass jars and stored them in the garage (in winter, my garage is my other fridge). Went through the jars pretty quickly, in a matter of a couple of weeks. But then yesterday, I was going through the garage and found one jar left, completely overlooked as I shuffled around the jars!! I don't see any mold, nothing white, and it smells/tastes of a slight tartness that could be from the garlic. Is it bad? Any way of knowing if it's bad or should I just give it a good boil?

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  1. Did your garage stay at least 40F. degrees or LOWER the entire time? If so, it's probably just the garlic but if there was a chance the temp could have gone over by any bit, personally, I would throw it out but JMO

    2 Replies
    1. re: Cherylptw

      Open it and if you hear a sound like air escaping it is bad.

      1. re: foodsnob14

        Actually if you hear air escaping, it's good, it means the seal held. Not that they were actually canned, but if you put them in jars hot, they sometimes seal themselves and are good for a longer time. Buf you don't hear air escaping it doesn't mean they're bad either. Anyway, it was already taste tested by OP and no one ended up in the hospital, so no problem....I often play guinea pig myself with iffy products, and save the rest for the medical examiner just in case ;-)

    2. Did you "can" the sauce, or just put it in the jars? If you just put it in the jars, I'd think it's been too long to eat it, even in a "refrigerated" environment. Frozen it would be fine, but not refrigerated.

      1. since it wasn't vacuum-sealed, i agree with the sentiment that if there's any chance the temperature climbed above refrigeration level you should toss it. small amounts of mold can be present even if not visible, and though it won't kill you, it's not exactly good to eat.

        1. No way worth risking it. It they weren't canned but only jarred, it's too far past safety. Toss.

          2 Replies
            1. re: millygirl

              Thank you to everyone for the quick, unanimous response! It was not canned, air did look to have seeped in, and it's been a very mild winter up here in T.O. so, I dumped the jar as per your collective wisdom!