There’s nothing more rewarding than growing and eating your very own fruits and vegetables. But what if you produce too much for your family to eat before all that hard work goes to waste? The last thing you want to see is all of that fresh food go bad.
The solution, for many foodies, is to can and preserve their fresh produce. When done correctly, this can extend the life of your favorite foods, making them available to eat at a much later date. But what do you need to know to make your canning and preservation both safe and successful?
1. Know the Risks
Before you get started, it’s important to know the health risks associated with eating improperly canned and preserved food. First and foremost, be aware that failing to take the necessary precautions can result in botulism, which is caused by a bacteria-based toxin that thrives in a moist, oxygen-free area.
Here’s the problem: Botulism, which can lead to nausea, vomiting, dizziness, headache, paralysis and even death, doesn’t affect the color, smell, or taste of food, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). So, if you’re not sure you canned your food properly, get rid of it immediately!