The dangers of food canning

By: Amy Lipman Email
By: Amy Lipman Email

PALISADE, Colo. (KKCO) --- Canning is a historic method of food storage that has been passed down through generations, but it can be dangerous if not done properly.

"You just don't pull out grandma's pressure cooker out of the basement and start pressurizing," said Carol Zadrozny, owner of Z's Orchard in Palisade. "You need to follow specific directions."

The Center for Disease Control warns 'canners' of a deadly disease, known as botulism, which can develop in improperly canned vegetables and meats. It recommends using a pressure cooker when canning to kill off germs and seal the cans properly.

The more common method of canning, known as a water bath, should only be used for fruits and pickled vegetables because they have a higher acidity content, said Zadrozny.

But Toni Thornhill said she uses the water bath method for vegetables.

"We haven't had any problems," Thornhill said. "I've heard about the pressure cookers, but we've never done it. We just boil them and make sure the water covers the top and that they all seal."

Zadrozny said the most important parts of canning are using the freshest possible vegetables, making sure the can is sealed completely and consuming home-canned goods within two years.

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