Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Jan 1, 2014 02:45 PM

Old jars of tomatoes, are they safe.

I am cleaning my pantry and found a box of tomatoes my mother canned for me, dated 2010. They are still sealed, but appears that liquid has evaporated some how. The level of the tomatoes has "shrunk". Are they safe to use?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I had the same problem a while ago, and threw them all out. If liquid has evaporated from the jars, botulism probably isn't a risk, but flavor isn't improved over the years.

    1. I was delighted to find 20 jars of diced tomatoes in the pantry when I was cleaning last night and was very excited to use what I have instead of buying anew. I grabbed another can 2 days ago to use in another dish and got a glimpse of the stamped expiration date - September 2010. The other cans are still in the pantry. The tomatoes taste and smell fine so will be kept. I would only worry if your cans are bulging, but if the tomatoes smell OK I'd use them.

      2 Replies
      1. re: fldhkybnva

        These are home canned and show evidence of less than graceful aging.

        1. re: sr44

          Duh I missed the part about them being home-canned. In that case, no I wouldn't use them.

      2. When it comes to older home canned goods that I didn't put up myself. And it's questionable. I always subscribe to when in doubt throw it out. No disrespect to your mother mind you.

          1. I am not particularly cautious when it comes to using products within code dates, but I would not use those tomatoes. Two years old and no sign of degrading might be okay. But three plus years AND signs of degrading, I say no.

            I don't think I'd even feed them to our pet pig, who gets most of our kitchen scraps.