Reader’s Question: Forgot to Process Canned Figs
Dear Frugal Upstate
Photo by Maryspics
I am in a real pickle. Yesterday i put up 16 jars of figs, boiled the lids and jars, filled them, but did not water bath them. Can I do that today or is it too late. I am so upset, I guess i was tired and didn’t follow through. Please advise, I really need your suggestion. Thank You.
Doris, I’m sorry, but I don’t think I’m going to have good news for you. You said you filled the jars but then you didn’t process them. . . where were the jars in the meantime?If your figs were left sitting out on the counter without being boiled they are not safe to eat. Without processing you’ve basically got the same situation as if you left a pot full of cooked figs sitting out on the counter overnight. What makes your canned food safe is not the lid-its the fact that the food is cooked inside the jar creating steam, as the steam vents past the rubber seal in the lid (which is soft from the heat and lets the steam escape) it pushes the oxygen out and creates a vacuum inside.If you refrigerated the unprocessed jars promptly, then you could take them out, empty all the figs into a pot, reheat them fully (you’d want them hot all the way through) and then re-can them in clean jars with new lids.
I’m sorry for your wasted time, effort and food–I know it must hurt your heart. But food safety isn’t worth messing around with! Don’t give up, keep on canning. We all make mistakes now and then.