My family decided to can pasta sauce, salsa and whole tomatoes about a month ago. A few days ago I was talking with a friend about how we canned our sauces, and they told me it wasn't safe and that we didn't boil or sanitize enough. I'm worried about botulism. My question is- should we throw away just the contents of the jars, or all of the whole unopened jars?

  • I'm not sure what you are asking, are you asking if you should get rid of the actual jars, not just the contents?
    – GdD
    Commented Sep 14, 2022 at 10:02
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    Also, your friend may be an expert, but why don't you ask a separate question on this site about it? We have a lot of experienced canners here and you may get different advice. Describe the method you used in detail.
    – GdD
    Commented Sep 14, 2022 at 10:03
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    Yes, what I am asking is if I should throw away the actual jars or not. And thank you, I will do that now.
    – Linny
    Commented Sep 14, 2022 at 10:49
  • As the OP confirmed, this question is about the glass jars. Please do not post anders about the tomatoes - if the OP wants an answer to that, they can ask separately.
    – rumtscho
    Commented Sep 15, 2022 at 7:02
  • I guess it depends on your canning process? Usually to do pasta sauce canning, the process includes the final boil (depends, 40mins aprox?) which should make it safe. But if you just saved it in jars and stored it... We don't know what methodology you followed! Also, checking these 2 recipes, it seems if you add lemon juice to the jars this recipe is acidic enough for canning source and other. It may vary depending on the tomatos used.
    – M.K
    Commented Sep 15, 2022 at 14:35

1 Answer 1


Food spoils, glass doesn't, so as long as the jars are cleaned thoroughly they are perfectly safe to use. If you are very concerned then you could sterilize them as well using a bleach solution, or by using heat, there is no reason to throw them away.

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    The lids on the other hand, should not be reused. You can keep the retaining ring that screws on over the lid, but the lid itself is generally single-use. The rubber seal degrades after the first time you open it and often doesn't seal properly if you try it a second time. Commented Sep 15, 2022 at 15:11

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