There is mold on the surface of my home canned tomatoes and applesauce. Is it alright to remove the mold and use the food?
Discard any home canned food with mold on or in it. It could be dangerous. It is possible for mold growing on the surface to lower the acidity of these foods. If they become low enough in acid, botulism-producing bacteria can start to grow and produce toxin. Even if the mold is scraped off the surface, the toxin remains in the food. Molds, too, produce toxin so the food should be discarded.
Barbara Willenberg, Nutritional Sciences, University of Missouri-Columbia
Last update: Tuesday, May 05, 2009