Can You Get Botulism From Sun-dried Tomatoes?

Generally speaking, tomatoes are a great essential every proud cook would boast of once in a while during their cooking games. Whether fresh or sun-dried, tomatoes make up for a great dish.

However, over time, they would turn bad no matter how good the tomato seems to be. And when this happens, the tomatoes amidst the goodness become an enormous threat if anybody consumes them.

Although sun-dried tomatoes can stay longer than fresh tomatoes, they are susceptible to spoilage when they stay for an extended period.

Botulism is one of the threatening diseases that are likely to pass from canned foods when they are due.

So, can you get botulism from sun-dried tomatoes? If sun-dried go bad, a lot of things could go wrong, and you might end up with botulism. Let’s learn more about botulism and sun-dried tomatoes.


What is botulism?

Botulism is a rare poisoning that is caused mainly by the bacteria clostridium botulirium. And although it seems rare, botulism is deemed dangerous and must not give room for it.

There are several forms of botulism; infant botulism, wound botulism, and food-borne botulism.

So, it is possible to contract botulism from food. This mostly occurs when vegetables or fruits come in contact with contaminated soil.

So when this happens, anybody that comes in contact with the food or consumes the food that is contaminated with botulism can easily contract botulism.

Another condition where it is possible to deal with botulism is homemade foods. If homemade food is not stored in proper condition and is susceptible to botulism.

Rarely does this happen, but sometimes most canned foods bought from the store have botulism toxins.

What can you get botulism from?

So, what can you get botulism from? Like we said earlier, anyone can get botulism from foods or ingredients that already have botulism. This is mostly seen in canned foods, whether fruits or any foods.

So does this mean that sun-dried tomatoes are susceptible to botulism? Indeed, sun-dried tomatoes are susceptible to botulism if you cannot store them in the right condition. However, you must learn about sun-dried tomatoes, so let’s learn,

About sun-dried tomatoes

sun dried tomatoes

Sun-dried tomatoes are these types of tomatoes that are made from other tomatoes, like cherry tomatoes.

Sun-dried tomatoes are not like fresh tomatoes. However, they are over-ripened fresh tomatoes that are treated with salt and left in the sun for a couple of hours so that the water content is dried from the tomatoes.

And because it is dried for some hours, 4-8 hours, the tomato becomes very stretchy and sweet. Sun-dried tomatoes, even when it is treated, are very nutritious and filled with health benefits.

You are not limited to just using cherry tomatoes for sun-dried tomatoes. Other mini varieties of tomatoes can serve as well.

Now, let’s move over to the storing process of sun-dried tomatoes.

How do you store sun-dried tomatoes?

Sun-dried tomatoes, even after the long treats, need to be stored safely so that it remains consumable. So because of this, many people would store their tomatoes in a can.

Whilst many people would store in the can with other ingredients, others would store sun-dried tomatoes with oil. However, oil does go bad.

This is where the problem lies! More so, if you do not get to sun-dry the tomatoes properly, then there would be a problem.

Can you get botulism from sun-dried tomatoes?

So, does this mean that you can get botulism from sun-dried tomatoes? Well, yes, anybody can get botulism from sun-dried tomatoes, however, if only the tomatoes are not stored properly, and the oil is now bad.

And even if you prepare or preserve the sun-dried tomatoes well once you open the seal and do not get to store the tomatoes properly, they are still very much exposed to bacteria like botulism.

How do you prevent botulism?

Now, since it is possible to get botulism from sun-dried tomatoes, can you prevent such from coming your way? Of course, yes, there are some safety precautions to take into consideration so you are not exposed to botulism. Let’s look at them!

  1. Try to avoid reactive cans when it’s time to store your tomatoes. This is very important if you are intentional about your well-being.
  2. Tomatoes are acidic, and although sun-drying has the potency to reduce that effect, that doesn’t change the fact that it is acidic. So, you must store your tomatoes in a non-reactive container so that it doesn’t alter the taste of your tomatoes and, at worst, invite bacteria.
  3. Next to the first is using a container that seems damaged. Taking the little things into consideration always saves the day. So, avoid damaged containers. They are not safe for you. However, if you must store your tomatoes but you do not have good containers, then you can use sealable bags to store them, they are safe as well.
  4. Refrigerate leftovers properly; we cannot overstress the importance of storing foods and leftovers properly. To avoid getting botulism, store your leftovers properly.
  5. If you get to open the sun-dried tomatoes in oil, then we advise you to store them in the fridge. The oil solidifying has nothing to do with its safety. You should be more worried about having the oil go rancid.
  6. If you get to store the sun-dried tomatoes in the fridge, we advise you use your tomatoes after some days, 8 to 11 days, depending on how well you stored them.
  7. If the oil is bad already, you should throw the oil away. If you doubt the safety of the tomatoes, then it’s right you do away with them too! How do you know sun-dried tomatoes are bad? Read on to find out!
  8. Cook food thoroughly, really, since fruits or vegetables can get botulism from contaminated soil. You must treat your raw fruits or vegetables and wash them with salt. Then cook properly to kill any form of bacteria that is sprouting growth.

How to know sun-dried tomatoes are bad

Now let’s find out how to know sun-dried tomatoes are bad,

  • Mold would grow in the tomatoes
  • Rancid oil, the oil will turn rancid and become unsafe
  • Foul smell. After some time, the tomatoes would smell.

So these are the potential signs to look out for when you want to use tomatoes.

Read: Do Sun-Dried Tomatoes Go Bad In Oil?

Can you recover from botulism?

If you are careful enough to consider all these, then you have nothing to worry about. However, if you are worried about the state of anybody that gets botulism, then here is a must-know.

If anyone gets botulism, the person can recover from botulism in most cases where it is mild. There are symptoms of botulism that would become glaring if anyone gets botulism. Let’s look at them.

Symptoms of botulism

  • Weakness
  • Trouble with the vision
  • Dizziness
  • Having difficulty speaking
  • Difficulty breathing

Conditions that would support the growth of botulism: if you do not store your sun-dried tomatoes properly, they are very much under a serious threat, which is botulism.

Storing your sun-dried tomatoes in a moist area and temperatures above 40°F then it would contribute to the growth of botulism.

Read: How Long Does Sun-Dried Tomatoes Last In The Fridge?


Can you get botulism from sun-dried tomatoes? You already know how possible it is to get botulism from sun-dried tomatoes and any other food if you do not take care.

So, you mustn’t avoid storing your tomatoes in the right condition. If you store it in the right conditions, you stand to reap all the benefits that come with it.

Botulism is a rare disease. However, it could be severe if you do not treat them at an early stage. We have discussed everything there is to know about botulism and sun-dried tomatoes. Refer to our guide for better insights.