Home-Canned Beets in Oregon Linked to Three Botulism Hospitalizations

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Storing low-acid foods in a jar and sealing them without either acidifying or processing using pressure creates ideal conditions for botulism formation. This Food Safety Infosheet covers home-canning and the potential for botulism growth due to incorrect canning procedures.

Highlights:

  • Storing low-acid foods in a jar and sealing them without either acidifying or processing using pressure creates the ideal conditions for toxin formation.
  • Tested recipes and directions for safe canning can be found at the National Center for Home Food Preservation: nchfp.uga.edu.
  • In 1977, 59 patrons of a Detroit Mexican restaurant became ill with botulism after consuming improperly canned peppers after restaurant staff put lightly-cooked peppers and water in jars and sealed them.
  • Low acid foods (pH greater than 4.6) like beets cannot be safely canned using a boiling water bath unless acidified according to a tested recipe.

Article first appeared on foodsafetyinfosheets.org