I stored some vinegar in a salsa container. When I opened it, I noticed some black stuff under the lid. The vinegar liquid looked good, so I used a little and started to cook with it. When I washed the lid, the black stuff under the lid dissolved. Is my dish safe to consume?

  • 1
    What was the lid made of? Steel lids can turn black on exposure to vinegar (even just fumes) if the coating on them is even slightly damaged. This is more like rust than mould
    – Chris H
    Aug 24, 2020 at 20:24

2 Answers 2


The "black stuff" is most likely mold. I have found it under the lids of many foods I preserved and ate without suffering any adverse health consequences, including various vinegars.


if it's wine vinegar it's completely safe. that's simply a layer of mother of vinegar (mycoderma aceti). If there is still some unfermented sugar in the vinegar it may form even if is a store-bought one. It's a natural process.

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