Beware! Improper Home Canning Techniques May Cause Foodborne Illnesses

Dr. Mark Povroznik, Chief Quality Officer at United Hospital Center, grew up canning foods and he understands the benefits and risks associated with food preservation.

“This annual tradition is a fun time to have the family together,” said Dr. Povroznik. “Telling stories and ending up with a product that we can savor all year long is well worth the time.”

Canning holds many merits, but if someone is not vigilant, an unwanted outcome may develop. Dr. Povroznik said that Botulism may containment your food, but precautions can help prevent this.

Some proper techniques include:

• Start with a clean jar that is heated to prior filling, which helps speed up the canning process
• After filling the jar, the rim needs to be wiped clean, and the lid heated to provide a proper seal
• Place the rings on the jar “Finger Tight,” not “Grip Tight,” so air can escape
• Follow the recommended cook time, from when the water comes to a boil and not when you first put the jars in the water
• Once the jars are removed, place them on a towel to cool; hearing a pop as the jars cool indicate that a satisfying seal has occurred, and those that do not seal can be placed in the refrigerator to be used up first
• Finally, remove the rings once the jars have cooled and are sealed for storage

Dr. Povroznik recommends that a novice read from a number of reputable websites or publications before starting. He also advocates that investing in the correct equipment is essential to proper canning.

“Be highly aware of low-acidic foods that are at the highest risk for spoilage and Botulism. Some of these foods include green beans, beets, potatoes, essentially all meats, and certain tomatoes,” said Dr. Povroznik. “The proper way to process these foods is by a pressure canner.”

Canning presents an opportunity to preserve an individual’s creation in the comfort of their home. By being-budget friendly and providing health benefits, canning has transitioned in a way that allows someone to control the quality of the food they consume.

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