Before I store my home bottled jars on the shelves or boxes I wash each bottle of peaches, chili, or whatever it may be in soapy water. Then I let them let on a table for 1 weeks to make sure they have sealed well before I store them without bands.
Spoiled low-acid foods, including tomatoes, may exhibit different kinds of spoilage evidence or very little evidence. Therefore, all suspect containers of spoiled low-acid foods, including tomatoes, should be treated as having produced botulinum toxin and handled carefully in one of two ways:
- Wear disposable rubber or heavy plastic gloves.
- Carefully place the suspect containers and lids on their sides in an 8 quart volume or larger stock pot, pan, or boiling-water canner.
- Wash your hands with gloves thoroughly.
- Carefully add water to the pot and avoid splashing the water. The water should completely cover the containers with a minimum of a 1-inch level above the containers.
- Place a lid on the pot and heat the water to boiling. Boil 30 minutes to ensure detoxifying the food and all container components.
- Cool and discard the containers, their lids, and food in the trash or dispose in a nearby landfill.
- Contact with botulinum toxin can be fatal whether it is ingested or enters through the skin. Take care to avoid contact with suspect foods or liquids.
- Wear rubber or heavy plastic gloves when handling suspect foods or cleaning up contaminated work surfaces and equipment.
- A fresh solution of 1 part unscented liquid household chlorine bleach (5 to 6% sodium hypochlorite) to 5 parts clean water should be used to treat work surfaces, equipment, or other items, including can openers and clothing, that may have come in contact with suspect foods or liquids.
- Spray or wet contaminated surfaces with the bleach solution and let stand for 30 minutes.
- Wearing gloves, wipe up treated spills with paper towels being careful to minimize the spread of contamination. Dispose of these paper towels by placing them in a plastic bag before putting them in the trash.
- Next, apply the bleach solution to all surfaces and equipment again, and let stand for 30 minutes and rinse.
- As a last step, thoroughly wash all detoxified counters, containers, equipment, clothing, etc.
- Discard gloves when cleaning process is complete. (Note: Bleach is an irritant itself and should not be inhaled or allowed to come in contact with the skin.)