It’s harvest time, and if you’re lucky, you have plenty of produce from your garden to go around. Canning it is a great way to preserve it and share it with family and friends, but it can be risky if it’s not done correctly. Before you get started, it’s important to be knowledgeable about proper canning techniques so you can make sure your home-canned vegetables aren’t contaminated by the germ that causes botulism.
What is botulism?
Botulism is a rare but serious illness caused by a bacteria that produces powerful toxins that can lead to serious illness, including paralysis, and even death. The bacteria produce hardy spores that can survive in soil. Fruits, meats, fish, and vegetables could be contaminated with the bacterial spores before they are canned. The spores can survive, grow as bacteria, and produce toxins in improperly canned jars of food. It can be deadly to take even a small taste of food that has this toxin in it. Continue reading “Safely canning foods at home: When in doubt, throw it out!”