A friend gave me a jar of strawberry jam for Christmas. I used the jar once and replaced the lid. A week later I went to use it again and there were several white "fuzzies" on the surface of the jam. I scraped them off and it was fine but now I'm keeping the jar is in the fridge. I'd like to know why the jam got moldy so quickly. I thought they were termed "preserves" because they were not prone to spoil at room temperature.
Not sure how to answer your question, but I keep our "preserves" in the refrigerator just because of the mold factor.
I always store opened jams/jellies in the fridge so they won't spoil as fast. Commercially canned ones might be okay to leave at moderate room temps, but I'd never risk that with home-canned ones... Especially not ones from someone else's home. You never can be sure they've done everything the right way.
Leaving them at room temp is the proper setting for growth of bacteria, feeding off the moisture and sugar of the jam. Introduction of a non-sterile spoon or knife gets the bacteria into the jar and goes bonkers growing until you grab it the next time around.
Remember the key three items needed for bacteria/microorganism growth include:
Warmth or temperature
Something to eat or feed on - in this case sugar and fruit
I was always taught to store open jams and jellies in the fridge -- unopened can be stored in the pantry.
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I have ALWAYS stored any opened jams or jellies in the refrigerator. The word "preserves" to me just means that the fruit has been preserved for use in the future ~ not that they have preservatives that would make it safe to store them at room temperature.
They are called preserves because they have pieces of fruit. There is a difference between jelly, jam, preserves and fruit butters.
Jelly is to juice as jam is to fruit. Jelly is basically mashed fruit with the juice extracted and then the juice is cooked to a gel consistency.
Jam and fruit butter are fruit purees, (think of mashed fruit when you see purees because my keyboard doesn't have an accent key) fruit butter is cooked to a thicker density than preserves.
Preserves are whole fruit cooked down so there are pieces of fruit present.
There are other ingredients added to each of the above so please don't misunderstand my explanation. None of the above are fruit or juice alone.
You should toss that strawberry jam. Better safe than sorry. The following is from the National Center for Home Food Preservation hosted by University of Georgia College of Family and Consumer Sciences
What do I do if there's mold on my jellied fruit product?
Discard jams and jellies with mold on them. The mold could be producing a mycotoxin (poisonous substance that can make you sick). USDA and microbiologists recommend against scooping out the mold and using the remaining jam or jelly.
Anything sweet with fruit syrup should be kept in the fridge once it is opened and kept in a cool place until it is opened.
I wouldn't keep anything that had "fuzzies" on it, throw it away!
Hard cheese...you can cut off the mold.
and puppies! LOL!
Whether You Think You Can Or You Think You Can't..... You're Right - Henry Ford
It wasn't homemade preserves, nor was it a brand I've seen in grocery stores - Stonewall Kitchen.
I still refrigerate any open fruit spread product.
They're called "preserves" because they're processed to last longer than fresh fruit. It doesn't mean they'll last forever.
If it is a commercially produced product, some place on the label should tell you to refrigerate once it is opened.
Once the seal is broken, no matter homemade or commercial, bacteria can grow...keep it refrigerated!
"The soil is the source of life, creativity, culture and real independence." David Ben-Gurion
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