I just opened home-canned blueberries and blackberries. They are probably 5 years old, and taste like alcohol. Are they safe to eat? I don't know anything about the original canner's intent.

The blueberries still have their skins and seem to be in juice.

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    I don't think there is any way to answer this question reliably without knowing how they were processed.
    – moscafj
    Commented Mar 1, 2019 at 23:59
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    The alcohol tells you the stuff fermented anaerobically. Clostridium botulinum likes anaerobic conditions. Unless I knew that's not in there, I'd toss the stuff. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clostridium_botulinum -Of course, you ate some and are still alive, so that's one data point in their favor. Commented Mar 2, 2019 at 0:33

1 Answer 1


Unless you know that the alcohol was added by the cook at the time of canning, I’d treat it as a sign that “something” happened. And in canning, “something” is always considered bad, because it means the food was in uncontrolled conditions.

I’d stick to the golden food safety rule of “when in doubt, throw in out”, just to be safe.

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