Botulism: 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 breathing.
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 conditions 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
Sounds just like the conditions in canned foods! Both home canned or commercially canned.
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 canning methods you should have no problems.
As an added
precaution it is suggested that you boil low acid foods for 10 minutes before serving.
This includes all vegetables and meats.
There 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 extension service and ask for more details.
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 to decide.
Boil for 10 minutes, plus one minute per 1,000 feet above sea level. Home canned spinach and corn should be boiled for 20 minutes before eating.
This 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 the Pacific Ocean contains higher rates of Type A Chlostridium Botulinum.
Canning Methods - which one to choose?
Step by step: Pressure Canning
Step by Step: Water Bath Canning
Sterilizing Canning Jars