It’s that time of year again! That's right, friends: It's time to can.
Our vegetable gardens are in full bloom and those overgrown cucumbers, tomatoes, beans, potatoes and beets and are in need of a serious picking! Many people also will begin the process of home canning. It may seem like a tricky process and the Food Safety Team at Festival Foods is here to help you figure out the appropriate steps to take while canning your vegetables.
We’ll look at the basics and provide you with some food safety information to ensure your canning season is both successful and safe! Home canning basics can be quite simple when followed correctly.
Botulism is real. Take care to use the proper and most up-to-date canning techniques. The bacteria that causes botulism is soil derived, and while inside the jar, it releases a toxin into the food. Most people don't know botulism is a potentially fatal form of food poisoning, even a bite of affected food can cause severe reactions. Clostridium Botulinum is tasteless, odorless, and will show no signs of spoilage
Use a pressure canner. Great Grandma Sally may have taught you the old fashioned way (boiling water), but boiling water is not an entirely effective way to kill Clostridium Botulinum. While highly acidic foods -- including fruits and tomatoes -- can be boiled in water, low acid foods should always be canned with pressure. We recommend using pressure canning for both high and low acid levels. Remember, Clostridium Botulinum is extremely heat resistant!
Maintain your pressure canner. While following the most up-to-date canning techniques is imperative, taking care of your canner is just as important. Ensuring all of the parts of your canning equipment are in good working order is a simple and quick way to reduce your risk of botulism.
In addition to the above tips, feel free to check out information provided by the CDC and FoodSafety.gov for more insights on healthy canning.