Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Safety of Home Canning

In my quest to get help you get less worried about getting botulism from home canned goods, I did a little research on botulism and home canning, and here's what I found, courtesy of this paper written by the Centers for Disease Control. Here's a summary:
  • Botulism is extremely rare: only 263 cases in the US between 1990 and 2000
  • The majority of them were in Alaska (39%) because of improper canning of Alaskan native foods.
  • Botulism fatalities were only 4% in out of these 263
  • From botulism caused by home canning products, the most common cause was improperly canned asparagus
  • All cases of botulism were caused by improperly canned vegetables and meats (and, interestingly, there was one case of botulism from peyote tea), not jams, jellies or fruits
  • Your chances of dying from salmonella poisoning are 0.08 deaths/100,000>population, but your chances of even getting botulism are .01/100,000 and if the fatality rate is only 4%, the fatality rate is only .0004/100,000
In conclusion, home canning is much safer than eating dinner out, where you might get salmonella.  Here's a great resource that explains botulism.


Anonymous said...

You are the best, MK! Thanks for the info :)

Lori said...

Thats pretty interesting. Thanks for sharing.

Topher said...

So glad I found this site. I have begun to can soups and veggies in the last week instead of just pickles and preserves (which I have done for years). I am using a pressure canner but am scared to death of killing someone in my family. I made carrot ginger puree last night and pressure cooked it for 30 minutes at 12 - 15 PSI. Now I am wondering if it should have been longer.

Sally Graham said...

if your jar has mold on the outside and you wipe it of before using it is it safe to use?