Can you eat canned tomatoes without cooking?

In this short article, we will provide an answer to the question “Can you eat canned tomatoes without cooking?” and the information on canned tomatoes and the risk of botulism.

Can you eat canned tomatoes without cooking?

No! Tomatoes from a can should never be consumed raw, nor should they ever be used to make fresh salsa or a BLT sandwich. A prolonged simmering process can be used to make soups, braises, and sauces, all of which result in the softening of the vegetables, the concentration of their flavors, and the elimination of any bitter or tinny flavors.

Is It Safe to Consume Tomatoes That Have Been Canned?

There is no difference in the nutritional value of fresh or canned tomatoes. Both of these contribute to the daily recommended number of vegetables you consume; nevertheless, the CDC reports that only one person out of every ten consumes the necessary daily amount of vegetables. A study that was conducted in 2015 found that those who consumed canned foods six times or more per week had diets that had higher levels of 17 essential elements compared to people who consumed canned foods two times or fewer times per week. 

In addition, in comparison to those who consumed two or fewer canned items per week, those who consumed six or more canned goods each week were found to have higher levels of certain nutrients, such as calcium, iron, vitamin D, and potassium, which are deficient in the diets of the majority of Americans.

Lycopene, a phytochemical that is found naturally in tomatoes and has been linked to a variety of health advantages, can be found in canned tomatoes as well (and gives tomatoes their gorgeous hue). Over 700 studies have shown that the antioxidant lycopene can help prevent breast cancer, heart disease, inflammation, and prostate cancer. 

When compared to fresh tomatoes, canned tomatoes have a higher bioavailability of the antioxidant lycopene, which means that eating them provides you with a greater amount of this beneficial compound. When tomatoes are cooked, the lycopene in them, which is found in many different kinds of processed tomato products, becomes substantially more accessible to your body (such as cans, jars, sauces, salsa, and ketchup). This is because the cell walls of the tomato plant are opened up when you boil the plant, which makes it easier for your body to absorb the lycopene.

There is no need to panic if you do not have the time to blanch and peel tomatoes before using them in a homemade sauce, chili, or soup. The diversity that is available in cans is useful at this time. Because they can be stored for up to a year and a half without going bad, they come in especially helpful during the winter, when tomatoes aren’t in season.

What are the ingredients added to the canned tomatoes?

It is usual practice to use salt in canned tomatoes; this not only improves the flavor but also acts as a preservative. If you take a glance at the nutrition facts label, you’ll notice that each serving has anything from 100 milligrams to 300 milligrams of salt, which is equal to between 4 percent and 13 percent of the daily recommendation. Look for versions that say “no salt added” if you want to reduce your sodium intake by a third. There are also “low sodium” variants available at the market where you normally shop.

Citric acid and calcium chloride are two examples of the types of preservatives that may be present in some products. Both are considered to be risk-free for human consumption. The color of chopped tomatoes can be preserved using citric acid, while the consistency of chopped tomatoes can be kept hard with calcium chloride. Boxed tomatoes, such as Pomi, are free of BPA and list only tomatoes as the only ingredient on their labels. These tomatoes can be used instead.

Is it possible to get botulism from eating food that has been canned?

Any food that has been canned poses a danger of botulism, but home-prepared meals provide an extremely high risk. There has not been a case of botulism reported at any cannery in the United States for a good number of years. Choose a tried-and-true recipe, then adhere to it to the letter if you want to successfully can tomatoes at home.

When shopping for canned tomatoes at the grocery store, try to steer clear of cans that are damaged, rusted, leaking, or swollen. Keep the cans at room temperature in the pantry, away from direct sunlight, and use them before the “use by” date that is printed on the cans. When the can has been opened, empty the contents into a container that can go in the refrigerator and store them there for up to four days.

Other FAQs about Tomatoes that you may be interested in.

Can tomatoes go bad in the fridge?

Can tomatoes go in the fridge?

​​Can you eat expired tomato soup?

Can dogs eat tomatoes and cucumbers?


In this short article, we provided an answer to the question “Can you eat canned tomatoes without cooking?” and the information on canned tomatoes and the risk of botulism.