While canning your home-grown produce is a great way to enjoy the bounty of your garden year round, it is important to know how to do so in a safe manner. If canning is done improperly, there is a risk of contracting botulism poisoning from the finished product.
Botulism poisoning is a serious disease caused by a germ found in soil, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If you can your food improperly, the CDC warns, the toxin that causes botulism can grow in your canned food, and can make you sick when you eat it.
Canning safety can be broken up into two parts: pre-canning precautions and post-canning precautions.
To help avoid allowing the toxin that causes botulism to grow in your canned food, it is important to use the appropriate canning equipment and techniques while also following up-to-date instructions. The National Center for Home Food Preservation offers some tips to help dodge the risk of getting sick from canning:
Safety checks should be performed when you go to open a jar of your canned product later down the line, advises the CDC. Before enjoying the fruits of your labors, you should do an initial critique. Your food might be contaminated if it has any of these characteristics, according to the CDC.
The CDC says if you suspect the food might be contaminated, throw it away and use bleach to clean any areas where it may have spilled. Never take the risk and test food if you are uncertain of its condition, and if the jar or can looks damaged or is bulging, throw it away without opening it, the CDC says.
After taking the safety components into consideration, you are ready to start canning. Visit Canning 101 for more information about how to savor your garden in a new way.