Wednesday 26 August 2015

Dont Kill Your Family !!!!!!!!!

I was horrified to read on a blog of just cooking up some vegetable sauce pop it in a jar and as it cools the jar forms a vacum then you store it.


There is plenty of good advice on how to bottle and store your harvests on the internet


Botulism is a serious form of food poisoning that can cause death. The poison is produced by Clostridium botulinum, a bacterium that is commonly found in soil, on raw fruits and vegetables, on meat and fish, and on many other foods and surfaces.
Botulism spores are tough, and cannot be killed with boiling water or heat without including canning pressures.
Botulism bacteria (the bacteria that grow out of germinated spores) can multiply quickly in a moist, oxygen-free environment and create a very powerful poison. One teaspoonful is enough to kill 100,000 people.
Improper home canning creates the perfect environment to grow botulism bacteria.
Because food contaminated by botulism may look and smell normal, you cannot tell by looking at the food whether it is poisoned by botulism bacteria.


  1. Well said Dawn, I have not seen the post but support every thing you say. I worked for most of my adult life in the food manufacturing sector. The best way to preserve home prepared foods is either canning or freezing. Botulism has claimed many many lives, as you say the food does not look or smell "off". Even bottling in a standard pressure cooker is not safe, you need the extra oomph of a pressure canner to be safe.

  2. I remember people becoming very ill, and one of them dying, from botulism after eating hazelnut yoghurt. I've never touched one since. I saw the post you were referring to. I always freeze the pasta sauces that I make- they taste just as good once defrosted.

  3. I freeze my pasta sauces too. Botulism is so deadly and I think people can be quite unaware how easily they can cultivate it, when they are just blithely bunging a sauce in a jar and claiming the seal that forms makes it safe. Yeesh. A timely post of yours methinks.

  4. I always freeze my sauces, I read an article on botulism in a preserving book once so I've never taken a chance x

  5. Wow, I read that post too. Thank you so much for the warning, I had no idea of the danger and Botulism sounds very scary. I found you via Pam's post from A New Life in Wales BTW.

  6. I also read the post that you are referring to. I have to say that I have been quite shocked at the way some (not all) people in U.K., Europe, Australia and New Zealand 'can' there food. It is done very different here in Canada and the U.S. We use water bath canners and pressure canners. I made a comment on a New Zealand blog that I was shocked that she didn't 'process' her jars. She said she had to google what I was talking about and she said she would never do all that 'messing about'. I guess lots of people have been doing there 'canning' the old fashioned way but I think I'd rather be safe than sorry.

    1. We don't usually have access to canners in this country. The hot water bath method suits most people although I would never risk it with vegetables. However, that said, all our preserving books for generations have used a similar method to the hot water bath and most of us are still alive!

  7. Amen. I don't know why but it seems all the rage around here lately to get around actual canning as much as possible. The oven canned tomatoes were one way I saw started up last year.

  8. I also read that post and having canned all my life I worried about people taking that advice to heart since she is seemingly such an expert at so many things. Glad you got the word out. You are not saving money when you make people ill, or worse.

  9. Thank you for this post. I had no idea preserving food this way could be so dangerous. Whilst I tend to freeze everything now I'm sure that it's something I would have tried in the future, so again thank you for the advice x

  10. Don't you think you ought to warn the blogger who posted this?

  11. I too think you ought to contact the blogger.


  12. I saw this post too and was concerned about the content. I have bottled fruit using a pressure cooker. My difficulty was getting the top off the jar as the seal was so tight. I don't bottle vegetables as I have read they do not contain sufficient acid to stop bacterial action. A government website I read sometime ago recommended using a proper pressure canner in which you can measure the pressure accurately to preserve vegetables. Having said that, my pressure cooker handbook which I have had since 1972 does give instructions for botting vegetables albeit stating the instructions must be followed exactly. Freezing vegetables is easier for me.

  13. I have posted on the blog concerning this post and got a very curt reply the blogger is still recommending her method and also recommending that jars from bought sauces are alright to use, THEY ARE NOT, pre-used jars that contained sauces should never be used for bottling, invest in the proper jars and use replacement lids each time, they are cheap enough, recycled jars are fine for pickles and jams but not bottling, like they say you can lead a horse to water but cant make it drink for goodness sake its not worth risking lives over this.

  14. Dawn. I have looked at a couple of your preserving/bottling links and finally I understand the process. Thank you. I thought it was really tricky and complicated but thanks to you I now feel I can give it a go.

  15. Oh dear a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. Many years ago I raised the issue of being able to bottle in recycled jars and I was told categorically it was possible but that no the jars were not specifically meant for that purpose and could in fact shatter during the process which kind of beats the point. So I have never done this. I just use recycled jars for marmalade and jam making; sterilising them either in a pan of boiling water or in the oven or even the dishwasher but always with brand new seals on. I do not recycle the seals. I have not up until now done vegetables even though some of the books I have obtained brand new in this country seem to suggest that this is okay and probably is 9 times out of 10, but you only need one incident to finish people off. I belong to a couple of American Canning Blogs where they always take into account the latest guidelines. In fact there has been a hoo ha recently about the electric pressure cookers. They do not recommend these new pieces of equipment for canning food still stipulating the proper canners with the pressure gauge on. I have invested in the proper Kilner, Ball and Le Parfait jars for other specialist foods and am just about to invest in a proper canner. (Dawn when you are back on line would like your input on this please). These jars are reuseable with new seals and the Le Parfait ones the French use for processing meat. (I a specifically taking about the Familia Wiss jars which are a lot larger (than the Kilner and Ball jars). The jars might be a tad expensive but they are reusable and I am hoping once I have the canner I will be able to put a lot of things in hand like home made stocks, soup, pates and meats. Water bathing or "bottling" as us British call it is really only ideal for bottling fruit in syrups. Vegetables no. Not even in a pressure cooker. However I think common sense has to play a part. If the contents of the bottle you intend to use you don't think look right then don't use it. The utmost care in cleanliness and in common sense needs to be applied also. The process to start with is daunting and cumbersome but is there for a reason and not all foods can be processed in this way. If you are intending like myself to purchase a canner make sure that you belong to an active blog/forum where the members encourage you to have a go and also give you the latest guidelines. There are also on You Tube videos of how to process different types of food which are also quite helpful. If you are not sure about something then always ask. On a cynical note I just hope the lady who is advocating processing vegetable sauces in this way has limited liability insurance! It sounds as if she is going to need it!




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