After I finished processing my green beans in the pressure canner, I went to bed and left them in the canner all night. Are they still safe to eat?
We cannot recommend that you consume this food. Quality and nutrient loss will be extreme. Also, if jars are not removed from the canner when pressure returns to zero and cooled immediately, a type of bacteria which produces flat sour spoilage could begin to grow. This type of spoilage often occurs when jars are not removed from canners promptly or when they are covered with a towel during cooling. Jars should also be removed from boiling-water canners immediately when processing is completed.
You have several options. If you processed this food less than 24 hours ago, you could safely reprocess following directions in GH 1452 "Steps to Success in Home Canning". Food could also be frozen immediately in suitable containers. Note: reprocessing and freezing will result in a very poor quality product. Food could also be stored in the refrigerator and used within several days.
Barbara Willenberg, Nutritional
Sciences, University of Missouri-Columbia
Last update: Tuesday, May 05, 2009