A liquid sterilizing system (A) defines a basin (10) in which a container (B) is removably disposed. The liquid sterilizing system selectively pumps sterile rinse liquids from a supply (24) and liquid sterilant solutions from a supply (70) into the basin filling the basin and the container. The container includes a lower shell having a bottom wall (34) that defines an aperture (32) for receiving sterilant and sterile rinse liquids. A nozzle plate (44) is mounted close to but spaced from the shell bottom wall to define a tortuous liquid distribution path (40) between the inlet aperture and nozzle plate apertures (90). A barrier (96) divides the liquid receiving portion and a drain portion of the liquid distribution path between the shell bottom surface and the nozzle plate. A cover (80) has a downward depending peripheral wall (82) which is offset from the shell peripheral wall (86) by the spacers (88) to define a tortuous vent path (48) therethrough. The container is lifted out by handles (100) which enable the container to be removed without disturbing the transparent cover, hence, without disturbing the sterile condition of the items within the container. In this manner, the sterilized items can be inventoried and maintained sterilized in the container for an extended duration.