A severe, sometimes
fatal food poisoning caused by ingestion of food containing botulin and
characterized by nausea, vomiting, disturbed vision, muscular weakness,
and fatigue. Symptoms also include difficulty in swallowing, speech and
Doesn’t sound like anything I want to mess around with!
Did you know that Chlostridium
Botulinum spores are on most fresh food
It is in the dirt, it is just about everywhere.
The spores are harmless on fresh foods. However, when certain
exist, these spores will germinate, multiply, begin dying,
and then produce a
deadly toxin. It is
this toxin that causes serious food poisoning.
The conditions where the spores become dangerous
- absence of oxygen,
- low acidity levels, and
- temperatures between 40 and 120 degrees
Fahrenheit (4.5 to 49 degrees Celsius)—
Sounds just like the conditions in canned foods! Both home
canned or commercially canned.
So how do we get rid of it???
Botulism spores are killed at temperatures
above 240 degrees Farenhieght . This is only
achievable in a pressure canner.
As a home
canner, If you follow the recommended guidelines, and process your
foods with the correct
you should have no
As an added
precaution it is suggested that you boil low acid foods before serving.
This includes all vegetables and meats.
is apparently some debate even among extension services about whether
this is a necessary step. If you have questions about the importance of
boiling your low acids, call your local
and ask for
After talking with my local extension service , I have decided that the
extra step is not that much work and it gives me peace of mind and so I
do it. I'd recommend the same for you. You'll have
Boil for 10 minutes, plus one
minute per 1,000 feet above sea level. Home canned spinach
should be boiled for 20 minutes before eating.
is especially important at higher altitudes and in the Western United
States. According to my local extension service, soil in the area from
the Rocky Mountains to
Pacific Ocean contains higher rates of Type A Chlostridium
Botulism back to Canning Safety
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Canning Books by Sharon
I have attempted to share safe preserving methods. However, I make no promises. You alone are responsible for your health. Be aware of current safety recommendations.
See my Full Disclaimer here.