If a home canned jar has botulinum in it can the jar be cleaned and saved? If so what is the correct way to clean the jar?

  • have you tried google.com/search?q=disposal+of+botulinum+toxin Especially first link, "Procedures for Handling of Botulinum Toxin" – aaaaa says reinstate Monica Jul 3 '16 at 22:21
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    I'm pretty sure that you could pop it in a pressure canner for the same processing you normally use to kill the spores in food would do it, but... presumably if you have a jar that you know had botulinum in it, it's because someone got sick. Did you seriously keep the jar around in your kitchen after that? – Cascabel Jul 4 '16 at 0:37
  • No I did not have a jar with botulinum in it. I was just wondering because of books and blogs that I have read that say's you have to throw away the jar. – shareenalor Jul 11 '16 at 7:33

Typically if you suspect that a jar is actually contaminated with botulism the procedure is to leave it sealed and throw it away. This is due to the ability of botulism to become airborne.

(see: http://nchfp.uga.edu/how/general/identify_handle_spoiled_canned_food.html )

The washing of old gross jars is usually aimed at high-acid foods that may have popped the seal and become mouldy, stinky, or just plain old.

  • That link does also say that if it's no longer sealed, you should detoxify it before throwing away. So there's sort of a procedure for cleaning the jar without killing yourself... except the goal is just to throw it away more safely, not to clean and save the jar. – Cascabel Jul 13 '16 at 20:17
  • If suspected botulism contamination... toss regardless of it being sealed or not. The link also specified low acid foods. For high acids foods botulism is not really a concern and generic spoilage would be cleanable. – BunnyKnitter Jul 13 '16 at 20:19
  • Not sure if you're just trying to agree with what I said, but just in case, a direct quote from the NCHFP site you linked: "If the suspect cans or glass jars are unsealed, open, or leaking, they should be detoxified before disposal." - yes, you throw it away whether or not it's been sealed, but there is a process for safely cleaning the jar to be used when it's not sealed, you don't just throw it away. – Cascabel Jul 14 '16 at 0:07
  • I'm not sure either tbh ;) – BunnyKnitter Jul 14 '16 at 15:13

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