Can you get sick from tomato sauce?

In this article, we will discuss if you can get sick from tomato sauce and whether canned tomato sauce is dangerous. We will give you the most important tips to eat food safely.

Can you get sick from tomato sauce?

On rare occasions, you can get sick from tomato sauce. Despite occupying a very special place in your heart, you should know that eating this seasoning regularly can be harmful to your body. For this reason, we reveal health risks when eating tomato sauce:

  1. High sugar levels – This condiment has among its ingredients corn syrup (3.7 grams of sugar for each tablespoon), which serves to achieve that pleasant flavor. Which means more sugar than a chocolate cookie.
  1. High levels of sodium – Some types of ketchup can contain up to four grams of sodium, which is perfect for one tablespoon, only many people go over this dose.
  1.  It is not recommended to combine it with fruits – Due to the fructose they contain, it is a bad idea to combine it with certain foods rich in sugar. It is not healthy.
  1. It’s full of concentrates  – If adding this sauce to your fries is not enough with a tablespoon, you should consider that it is recommended to consume only eight tablespoons of ketchup a day.
  1. Tomato sauce can be affected by botulism – Now that many families make sauces and preserves, it is important to take extreme care to avoid this deadly toxin.

Botulism is a serious disease caused by a neurotoxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium Botulinum, which is present in soil and water. The disease is produced by the ingestion of foods that contain the neurotoxin formed in it, in the absence of oxygen and low acidity. 

Low-acid foods that are undercooked and kept in airtight containers without adequate refrigeration are factors that contribute to the spores surviving, developing, and synthesizing toxins. For this reason, consuming improperly prepared canned food is the most frequent way of contracting the disease.

Is canned tomato sauce dangerous?

Canned tomato sauce is a very acidic food, so it is less risky because the bacteria do not develop in highly acidic environments.

The preserves made with meat products or vegetables (except tomatoes) are the most dangerous because the food will have little acidity, so it will be more favorable for the development of bacteria and botulinum toxin.

The way to prevent the disease is to prepare the preserves correctly. Always avoid consuming homemade preserves of which the origin is unknown.

Also, we must be careful that the container, whether it is a bottle or can, does not show signs of fermentation: always discard jars with a swollen lid, swollen cans, jars where the food has overflowed through the lid, jars in which it can be seen an excessive amount of foam or bubbles inside, rusty cans or lids.

I recommend avoiding home preparation of the most dangerous preserves (meat) since, in home kitchens, we lack the sterilization methods used in the industry.

Other FAQs about Sauces which you may be interested in.

Can you use marinara sauce instead of tomato sauce?

Can you leave spaghetti sauce with meat out overnight?

What can I use instead of chilli sauce

How to cook tomato sauce

The ingredients for this sauce are ridiculously few and within reach of anyone. Do not be afraid to use garlic, as it is delicately cooked, it will develop a subtle and sweet aroma, in no case will it be very strong in the final preparation.

  1. Pour the olive oil into a cold pan. Before turning on the heat, add the peeled garlic cloves to the cold oil (at room temperature). Turn on the heat and set it to a minimum. Saute the garlic over low heat until it begins to release its flavor and turns slightly golden on both sides. 

This will take 2-3 minutes. Immediately, add the entire contents of a can of peeled tomatoes in broth and the washed and drained basil, along with the stem. If necessary, add 3-4 tablespoons of water. It usually takes.

  1. Chop the tomatoes directly in the pan, with a fork or spoon. Continue cooking over low heat until the garlic is soft and creamy and can be easily crushed with a fork. In total it will take a maximum of 10 minutes. If you want a sauce with larger pieces, just crush the garlic with a fork and chop the tomatoes a little more, remove the stems and basil leaves and it’s ready. 

If you want a fine sauce, after removing the basil toppings, pass everything with a hand blender. I usually leave a few leaves. I don’t leave too much, because it influences the color of the sauce and not for the better.

  1. Add the sauce to a short boil and season to taste with salt and pepper. The sauce is ready, ready to taste cooked al dente pasta, or to be stored in the refrigerator.

Serving and storage: If you want to keep it, pour the hot sauce into jars that you close with lids that close tightly. Cool them slowly, covered with many layers of textiles or in the oven. The sterilized sauce in jars can be stored for the winter in the pantry. 

When serving, just heat it in the pan, add the pasta, and a little of the water in which they boiled, grated Parmesan cheese and refresh everything with fresh basil.

Our recommendations to eat tomato sauce safely

To prevent any illness, certain practices must be taken into account when making preserves:

  • Prepare small amounts of the food, in shallow containers, and without a lid so as not to favor the development of the bacteria.
  • Don’t coat canned food with too much oil.
  • Cook the products to be preserved at temperatures of 116ºC, in a pressure cooker, to destroy the spores (heating at temperatures above 80ºC for 10 minutes destroys the toxin, but not the spores)
  •  Keep canned food in an acid medium (for example: in vinegar) to avoid the development of spores that could have survived cooking.
  • Do not store canned food at room temperature, but in a refrigerator.
  • Avoid cross contamination. Use clean utensils to spread the garnishes and, once used, do not put them back in the jar.


In this article, we discussed  if you can get sick from tomato sauce and whether canned tomato sauce is dangerous. We gave you the most important tips to eat food safely.

We remind you that eating tomato sauce regularly can be harmful to your body, since it is high in sodium, sugars and it poses a great risk for botulism. 

If you have any comments or questions on the content, please let us know!