Hi all, I canned several jars of tomatoes last year (my first time) and put them in my basement thinking it would be cool. Due to our new furnace, our basement isn't very cool, stays a steady like 65-70 degrees. Anyway, some of my jars of tomatoes have mold around the lid. The seal isn't popped, but am not sure if I should use them? Our basement doesn't have mold anywhere else except on a few of my jars. Did I do something wrong?
If the mold is on the outside the only thing you did wrong was to not wipe off the top of the jars before storing. Sometimes even if you wipe it off you don't get everything and it still molds. Wash the mold off and if the lid pops when you remove it all is well.
If they sealed and the mold is on the outside, there's nothing wrong with them. Also, the temp of your basement is okay for home canned foods. They don't have to be "cool". The main thing is that you don't want them to freeze and you don't want them too hot. You also don't want the temperature to be fluctuating by a wide margin. A little fluctuation is okay.