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Thread: question about botulism

  1. #1
    Mark Daniel Ward Guest

    Default question about botulism

    Sounds crazy, but my wife wanted to know about the following....

    Do you do anything extra (for safety) with your low-acid and tomato
    foods that you canned?

    USDA says, if something is known to have gone wrong with the canning
    process, then low-acid and tomato foods should be boiled before eating...

    USDA also says, if everything seems to have gone OK with the canning
    process, then it is unnecessary to boil low-acid or tomato foods before
    eating.

    USDA says to check these things:

    Food was processed in a pressure canner.
    Gauge of the pressure canner was accurate.
    Up-to-date researched process times and pressures were used for the size
    of jar, style of pack, and kind of food being canned.
    The process time and pressure recommended for sterilizing the food at
    your altitude was followed.
    Jar lid is firmly sealed and concave.
    Nothing has leaked from jar.
    No liquid spurts out when jar is opened.
    No unnatural or “off” odors can be detected.

    Am I missing anything here? As Susan's message earlier in the day said,
    "Remember you can kill your family and friends with improperly processed
    foods."

  2. #2
    The Cook Guest

    Default Re: question about botulism

    On Sun, 19 Jul 2009 14:29:30 -0400, Mark Daniel Ward <[email protected]>
    wrote:

    >Sounds crazy, but my wife wanted to know about the following....
    >
    >Do you do anything extra (for safety) with your low-acid and tomato
    >foods that you canned?
    >
    >USDA says, if something is known to have gone wrong with the canning
    >process, then low-acid and tomato foods should be boiled before eating...
    >
    >USDA also says, if everything seems to have gone OK with the canning
    >process, then it is unnecessary to boil low-acid or tomato foods before
    >eating.
    >
    >USDA says to check these things:
    >
    >Food was processed in a pressure canner.
    >Gauge of the pressure canner was accurate.
    >Up-to-date researched process times and pressures were used for the size
    >of jar, style of pack, and kind of food being canned.
    >The process time and pressure recommended for sterilizing the food at
    >your altitude was followed.
    >Jar lid is firmly sealed and concave.
    >Nothing has leaked from jar.
    >No liquid spurts out when jar is opened.
    >No unnatural or “off” odors can be detected.
    >
    >Am I missing anything here? As Susan's message earlier in the day said,
    >"Remember you can kill your family and friends with improperly processed
    >foods."


    Get the canning books, read them carefully before you start and
    follow the instruction absolutely.
    --
    Susan N.

    "Moral indignation is in most cases two percent moral,
    48 percent indignation, and 50 percent envy."
    Vittorio De Sica, Italian movie director (1901-1974)

  3. #3
    zxcvbob Guest

    Default Re: question about botulism

    Mark Daniel Ward wrote:
    > Sounds crazy, but my wife wanted to know about the following....
    >
    > Do you do anything extra (for safety) with your low-acid and tomato
    > foods that you canned?
    >
    > USDA says, if something is known to have gone wrong with the canning
    > process, then low-acid and tomato foods should be boiled before eating...
    >
    > USDA also says, if everything seems to have gone OK with the canning
    > process, then it is unnecessary to boil low-acid or tomato foods before
    > eating.
    >
    > USDA says to check these things:
    >
    > Food was processed in a pressure canner.
    > Gauge of the pressure canner was accurate.
    > Up-to-date researched process times and pressures were used for the size
    > of jar, style of pack, and kind of food being canned.
    > The process time and pressure recommended for sterilizing the food at
    > your altitude was followed.
    > Jar lid is firmly sealed and concave.
    > Nothing has leaked from jar.
    > No liquid spurts out when jar is opened.
    > No unnatural or “off” odors can be detected.
    >
    > Am I missing anything here? As Susan's message earlier in the day said,
    > "Remember you can kill your family and friends with improperly processed
    > foods."



    If I canned it, or my mom canned it, I'll eat it without boiling. If
    someone else canned it and gave it to me, I'll boil it first -- but
    maybe not for 10 minutes like you're supposed to if it looks OK and
    doesn't smell "off" when heated.

    Bob

  4. #4
    Mark Daniel Ward Guest

    Default Re: question about botulism

    Bob, thank you for your response.

    That's what I figured people would say, i.e., if I canned it myself, or
    my Mom did, or my wife did, then I can trust it.... otherwise, reboil
    before eating!!





    zxcvbob wrote:
    > Mark Daniel Ward wrote:
    >> Sounds crazy, but my wife wanted to know about the following....
    >>
    >> Do you do anything extra (for safety) with your low-acid and tomato
    >> foods that you canned?
    >>
    >> USDA says, if something is known to have gone wrong with the canning
    >> process, then low-acid and tomato foods should be boiled before eating...
    >>
    >> USDA also says, if everything seems to have gone OK with the canning
    >> process, then it is unnecessary to boil low-acid or tomato foods
    >> before eating.
    >>
    >> USDA says to check these things:
    >>
    >> Food was processed in a pressure canner.
    >> Gauge of the pressure canner was accurate.
    >> Up-to-date researched process times and pressures were used for the
    >> size of jar, style of pack, and kind of food being canned.
    >> The process time and pressure recommended for sterilizing the food at
    >> your altitude was followed.
    >> Jar lid is firmly sealed and concave.
    >> Nothing has leaked from jar.
    >> No liquid spurts out when jar is opened.
    >> No unnatural or “off” odors can be detected.
    >>
    >> Am I missing anything here? As Susan's message earlier in the day
    >> said, "Remember you can kill your family and friends with improperly
    >> processed foods."

    >
    >
    > If I canned it, or my mom canned it, I'll eat it without boiling. If
    > someone else canned it and gave it to me, I'll boil it first -- but
    > maybe not for 10 minutes like you're supposed to if it looks OK and
    > doesn't smell "off" when heated.
    >
    > Bob


  5. #5
    George Shirley Guest

    Default Re: question about botulism

    Mark Daniel Ward wrote:
    > Sounds crazy, but my wife wanted to know about the following....
    >
    > Do you do anything extra (for safety) with your low-acid and tomato
    > foods that you canned?
    >
    > USDA says, if something is known to have gone wrong with the canning
    > process, then low-acid and tomato foods should be boiled before eating...
    >
    > USDA also says, if everything seems to have gone OK with the canning
    > process, then it is unnecessary to boil low-acid or tomato foods before
    > eating.
    >
    > USDA says to check these things:
    >
    > Food was processed in a pressure canner.
    > Gauge of the pressure canner was accurate.
    > Up-to-date researched process times and pressures were used for the size
    > of jar, style of pack, and kind of food being canned.
    > The process time and pressure recommended for sterilizing the food at
    > your altitude was followed.
    > Jar lid is firmly sealed and concave.
    > Nothing has leaked from jar.
    > No liquid spurts out when jar is opened.
    > No unnatural or “off” odors can be detected.
    >
    > Am I missing anything here? As Susan's message earlier in the day said,
    > "Remember you can kill your family and friends with improperly processed
    > foods."


    As long as you follow the USDA guidelines and ensured everything is okay
    you will do fine. It's just a matter of attention to detail and preparation.

    As a rule low-acid foods should always be pressure canned unless you
    have acidified them properly. Most of us just boiling water bath jams
    and jellies, they, as a general rule are acidic. Many of the recipes
    call for the addition of lemon juice and the UGA site also tells you to
    use store-bought lemon juice as, by law, it must be a certain pH.

    Most of us use the UGA guidelines for most everything, even the ones
    with lots of experience.

    Do get your gauge, if your canner has one, tested annually and adjusted
    to correct pressure. Your agriculture department can usually help you
    find someone to do that. Many of the new canners only have weighted
    jigglers so you have to learn how to listen/watch the jiggler.

  6. #6
    Brian Mailman Guest

    Default Re: question about botulism

    Mark Daniel Ward wrote:
    > Sounds crazy, but my wife wanted to know about the following....
    >
    > Do you do anything extra (for safety) with your low-acid and tomato
    > foods that you canned?


    What Susan said about following instructions carefully.

    What George said about attention to detail, and I'm sure he meant
    *careful* attention to detail.

    Once you've done it a few dozen times, you can begin to relax a bit as
    the process becomes a habit. Until then.... eyes on the prize.

    B/

  7. #7
    jimnginger Guest

    Default Re: question about botulism

    On Jul 19, 11:29*am, Mark Daniel Ward <m...@purdue.edu> wrote:
    > Sounds crazy, but my wife wanted to know about the following....
    >
    > Do you do anything extra (for safety) with your low-acid and tomato
    > foods that you canned?
    >
    > USDA says, if something is known to have gone wrong with the canning
    > process, then low-acid and tomato foods should be boiled before eating...
    >
    > USDA also says, if everything seems to have gone OK with the canning
    > process, then it is unnecessary to boil low-acid or tomato foods before
    > eating.

    Older USDA regulation was to boil. No longer done. If canning was done
    properly at the beginning, no need or reason to boil.
    If canning done improperly, no reason to eat.
    The anything extra is to add 1/2 tsp. of citric acid to each quart of
    tomato products. This will lower the ph to way into the safety margin.
    Citric acid is cheap and I add it to the empty jar before filling.
    Could not be more simple. Buy it at your local health food store or
    all
    kind of places on line. It is a citrus acid and is not hazardous in
    any way.
    Hope this helps.
    You do not want to boil tomatoes unless they are for adding to soups
    and then it becomes a non-issue.
    Regards Jim in So. Calif.

  8. #8
    Mark Daniel Ward Guest

    Default Re: question about botulism

    Thank you for all of your helpful responses! We are definitely
    rule-followers, so we'll pay careful, careful attention to the
    recommended directions from USDA and UGA. We're reading a lot about
    this before jumping-in, because we want to be safe.

    Thank you again for your recommendations! I can see that you all have a
    wealth of experience. I'm sure that I'll be posting on here in the
    future, as we have more questions.

    Best wishes,
    Mark

  9. #9
    jimnginger Guest

    Default Re: question about botulism


    >
    > Thank you again for your recommendations! *I can see that you all have a
    > wealth of experience. *I'm sure that I'll be posting on here in the
    > future, as we have more questions.
    >
    > Best wishes,
    > Mark


    You are more than welcome Mark. That is the great thing about such
    forums.
    The only caveat is that you find someone who has actually done it and
    done
    it correctly. That last part is the hard thing to determine at times.
    It will come
    to you. Don't worry!
    Jim in So. Calif.


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