May 27, 2024

It’s Time to Can Produce; Do You Know How to Can Safely?

If you have an overflowing garden, or if you frequent farmers' markets, you know that it's time to can produce. Do you know how to can safely? Canning food, especially any low acid food such as vegetables, can be hazardous because of the pathogen Clostridium botulinum. This bacteria produces spores which grow under low acid, anaerobic conditions. The spores produce a toxin called botulism that can be deadly in very small quantities. So understanding and following proper canning methods is essential. The National Center for Home Food Preservation is the best resource for anyone who wants to can food at home. The center was started by the Cooperative State Research and Extension Service, which is part of the USDA. That site has information on how to can food, freeze food, dry food, … [Read more...]

Home Canning Warning After Washington Man Dies of Possible Botulism

A home canning warning has been issued by the Gray's Harbor County Public Health Department after a man living in Aberdeen, Washington died of possible botulism. The man was 55 to 65 years old. No further information on him is available. Confirmation of the case of death is pending confirmatory results. The property owner was assisted by officials from Grays Harbor County Environment Health with the safe disposal of around 170 pint-sized jars of home-canned food and canning jars according to CDC guidelines. Home canned foods can be a risk factor for botulism poisoning, especially if strict rules are not followed during preparation. Botulism is a toxin that cannot be seen or tasted. It does not change the texture, taste, aroma, or appearance of food. The toxin is produced by … [Read more...]

Tips For Avoiding Botulism When Canning Foods at Home

Now that the first frost has occurred, the growing season is over in the upper Midwest. Many people are canning foods from their garden and those items purchased at farmers' markets. But you need to know these tips for avoiding botulism when canning foods at home. Canning means you are enclosing food in an anaerobic environment: there is little to no air inside the jars. When combined with low acid foods, such as asparagus, green beans, beets, corn, potatoes, some kinds of tomatoes, figs, meats, fish, and seafood, this creates the perfect environment for the growth of Clostridium botulinum spores. Like most pathogens and the toxins they produce, botulism toxin will not change the taste, appearance, texture, or aroma of food. And it takes just a tiny amount to cause paralysis and … [Read more...]

Tips to Prevent Botulism Poisoning in Home Canned Goods

With harvest season upon us, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently issued important information, through, about the dangers of botulism and the steps home canners should take to prevent the proliferation of toxins in their canned goods. Armed with this knowledge, home cooks will be able to ensure that the foods they put away for the winter months are safe for consumption. Botulism is an illness caused by the soil-based Clostridium botulinum germ. When vegetables containing the germ are improperly canned, it can grow and create a tasteless, odorless toxin that can cause deadly nerve damage and paralysis if consumed. Low-acid vegetables with a pH level greater than 4.6 are especially likely to cause botulism, since they aren’t acidic enough to … [Read more...]

Second Fatality Attributed to Ohio Church Potluck Botulism Outbreak

A second fatality has been associated with the botulism outbreak linked to a potluck meal at Cross Pointe Free Will Baptist Church in Ohio one year ago,  according to WSYX/WTTE in Ohio. Marcella Barbee, 65, died in November 2015 after contracting botulism at the April 2015 potluck, according to the report. Previously, one fatality had been reported in connection with the outbreak that sickened 29 people who attended a potluck at Cross Pointe Free Will Baptist Church in Ohio. The outbreak is the largest botulism outbreak to strike the U.S. in 40 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Botulism is caused by a nerve toxin produced by the bacteria Clostridium botulinum which is found in soil and dust. Symptoms include: double vision, blurred vision, … [Read more...]

Home Canning? What to Know About Botulism

Home canning is a great way to preserve the bounty of your backyard harvest, but improper technique can cause serious illness and death.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has compiled some tips on home canning, the most common source of foodborne botulism. Tips from the CDC for proper home canning technique include making sure your food preservation information is up-to-date and to always using a pressure canner when canning low-acid vegetables such as green beans, potatoes and corn or, meat, fish and poultry. Click the preceding link for more tips. Botulism is caused by a nerve toxin produced by the bacteria Clostridium botulinum which is found in soil and dust. Symptoms include: double vision, blurred vision, drooping eyelids, slurred speech, difficulty … [Read more...]

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