Yesterday I canned a batch of tomatoes, chunked. This morning when I inspected the jars, they all appeared to be sealed. This evening upon inspecting the jars, I found one was no longer sealed. I believe I broke the seal while checking the jar.

So what are my options with this failed jar of tomatoes? Can I attempt to recan them or cook them up still? It has been about 24 hours since removal from the water bath.

2 Answers 2


Generally, when you find that you have a jar that failed to seal, you move it to the fridge, and use it up quickly.

... but by now, you've had the jar at room temperature for a really long time, especially if you didn't move it to the fridge immediately after you asked. If it had been a few hours after canning, especially with a high-acid food like tomato sauce, I'd have no problems recommending that route.

As it is now, I'd recommend composting it and recovering the jar for your next batch. You can decide for yourself how much you're willing to risk getting sick over wasting the food (how hearty your immune system is, how close you are to scraping by 'til the next pay check, etc), but if I were going to eat it, I'd bring it back up to boiling for a while (with the lid on, or a splatter screen at the very least) and only eat it myself, not serve it to others.

  • 2
    I did move the jar to the fridge when posting the question. So it's been chilled for a while now.
    – JG in SD
    Oct 8, 2019 at 14:46

If with "seal" you mean vacuum, it's something common that the jar might "unseal".

Might happen due to some problems with the cap, for filling the jar too much or to not tighten the cap hard enough.

When this happens I usually open the jar, taste for acidity or weird smell. If none of those exists, I use it within the day.

If the quantity in the jar is a lot to be finished in a day, I usually cook it all and put in the freezer the rest. Or in the fridge, if I'm going to use it the next day.

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