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.

Unknown said...

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