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Water Bath / Pressure Canning - Jams and Chutneys
Wed 16-May-12
3:55 pm
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sallygrehan
Sheffield
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I am looking at selling jams and chutneys and want to make sure that the food I am selling is safe. I have seen on American websites mainly about using water baths and pressure canners to avoid food poisoning. This is obviously a concern but when I look on the internet to purchase these items they only seem to be available in America.

 

So is this something you have to do? And if so, why can't you get the equipment in the UK?

 

Confused ..... what_the_heck

Wed 16-May-12
5:02 pm
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Hattie
Bucks/Oxon Border

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Hi Sally,

Welcome to the forum,

Perhaps Fiona's information on her blog will be some help, try this link

Many of us would love to order one from the US but the delivery charges are virtually the same as the price of the article. Also it needs to be serviced & no-one seems to offer that service here. We have had various discussions on tis forum about this subject.

As you plan to sell the preserves I would research very carefully if you intend to sell meat, fish & fruits& vegetables that are low in acid. Jam, marmalade & chutneys seem to be OK. Several people on here sell their preseves products rather successfully. I hope this helps a bit.

If you finally find a cheaper way of getting hold of the pressure-canner please tell us. As for a water bath you only need a very large & deep pan with a lid plus a trivet in the bottom, but this method is only safe for certain foods; not for meat, fish etc.

Hattie aka Nadine

 

"The beautiful is as useful as the useful...perhaps more so."

from Les Miserables

Wed 16-May-12
5:18 pm
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brightspark
Wilts

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Welcome Sally - alas I know little about this, except that it does depend on how much you are planning to sell.

If this is going to be a regular activity, I guess you will have to bear in mind all the regulations governing this.

However, if it is a once-in-a-while stall - like the school fete, say, all regular necessary precautions should be sufficient, just as if you are cooking for the family.

Sorry I can't be of more help.

Be who you are; say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind.

Thu 17-May-12
3:23 pm
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sallygrehan
Sheffield
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Thanks for your replies smile

 

I am only planning on marmalades, jams and chutneys so should be okay with that.

 

Do other people on here who sell their products us water bath canning?

 

My other question is about lids, if I use water bath canning do you have to use the 2 part lids or are normal screw lids okay?

Sat 9-Jun-12
2:17 pm
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Rob12
London, UK

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In the UK there is no legal requirement for you to water bath/pressure can any products with an acidity level of 5% or more (high enough to act as a preservative and acidic enough to prevent Botulism).  There is no requirement for sweet preserves for the same reason, provided your sugar percentage is 60% or higher in the finished product (again, high enough to act as a preservative).

 

Low acid products need to be given the water bath treatment and for this I would recommend that you use the correct two part lids or the clip top/rubber seal lids as they are designed for this purpose. As an alternative you can also sterilise the product using your oven, however this does affect the colour of the preserve more than the water bath method does.  For this you can however get away with using the normal screw top lids (just close them, then open them by a quarter turn before popping in the oven). 

 

Meat products would generally require the pressure canning treatment and I have heard of people using normal pressure cookers to do this.  It is a grey area though and one I have not felt brave enough to venture into.  You may consider looking across the pond to France and Spain for pressure canners too as they maintain a much more robust preserving tradition there which includes bottling meat and fish products.

Sat 9-Jun-12
8:42 pm
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Terrier
York

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Hi Sally, I sell chutneys, marmalades and Jams at small events like table top sales and school fetes. I don't use any of this US nonesense (sorry Michelle & Dan), I sterilise all jars in my oven after washing in hot water, I seal all I make with wax discs and cellophane lids dipped in brandy (or what ever alcohol I have to hand), I've never had anything brought back to me and until recently  had my email address on all labels (so people could contact me if necessary).

 

Janet (Terrier)

Sun 10-Jun-12
6:37 am
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Original Redhead
Bulgaria

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Janet not sure why you removed your email address.  But when I was in the UK my honey had a hotmail address printed on the labels that was purely for that purpose.  I found it useful when someone had been given a jar and wanted to buy some more.

 

Correction it was also on the hives in the out apiaries, in case someone needed to contact me regarding the bees.

 

I was going to suggest you see if terrierabletreats@hotmail was available but that might not be such a good one.   teehee

Failing is not a fault, refusing to try is
Sun 10-Jun-12
10:29 pm
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Terrier
York

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big_laugh   No particular reason why I removed the email address, i think it was just I needed more space on the labels, and at the time I was setting up an email address for my gardening business stuff. Just never got it put back on again.

Thu 14-Jun-12
1:49 pm
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seth
lincolnshire fens

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wave Next thursday 21st June at Lidl 27 litre jam maker and preserver says up to 14 jars in 2 layers . Looks a bit like a baby Burco boiler so you could do your smalls or make gallons of tea ! Google Lidl you can you can you can .All for £49.99 . runaway  

Seed catalogues are responsible for more unfulfilled fantasies than the web and playboy combined . (after Michael Perry)

Thu 16-May-13
11:17 am
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Noncitydweller
Lincolnshire

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Arghh I am always bottling reusing old jars. AND they are meat based ie I have 4 jars of chile con carne in the pantry. I have eaten meat based meals from jars that are over 6 weeks old and had no problem. What is the risk and how does it come about? I use old jars put boiling water in them and then put hot food in and waiting for the lids to pop (go down). Should I stop and what would be safe ie I know jam would be, anything in loads in oil ie tomatoes in oil. Vinegar would be another obvious. But stews I do a lot of but should I reduce the meat? Thanks JB 

Thu 16-May-13
1:45 pm
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eileen54
Somerset

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you should only preserve meat or vegetables using the pressure canning method. The risk of food poisoning is high if you don't.

Never give up Tomorrow is another day.
Thu 16-May-13
2:35 pm
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Noncitydweller
Lincolnshire

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. "The risk of food poisoning is high if you don't."

I am told that I just wondered why

Anyway canner preserver my mate wife has is called a silver crest. I had a quick look on the internet but found to many silver crests not related to canning. Iwill ask where she got when I get a chance. JB

Thu 16-May-13
3:23 pm
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Xahha
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The risk with meat is that pathogenic bacterial spores are not killed off by hot filling and sealing, the bacteria themselves may die, but the spores are dormant forms of bacteria and can grow and multiply after the heat treatment. Now the amount of growth can be determined by the pH of the product- high acid (low pH number) will inhibit their growth, low acid (high pH number) will allow the growth. A pH reading greater than 4.0 should in the main mean having in bottle heating after filling.

One of the most dangerous is clostridium botulinum, which can kill, and can be present in meat and vegetables as well. Others can give you nasty stomach problems.

Other factors are also needing to be taken in to account- for example the size of the pieces will determine the heat treatment needed. Big chunks of cubed steak will take longer to cook through, than minced steak for example.

 

It is a bit of a minefield, and personally I would not risk bottling or canning meat based products without further heat treatment.

 Are we having fun yet? I am!
Thu 16-May-13
3:27 pm
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Toffeeapple
North Bucks

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Thank Martin, for the definitive information.  Let's hope JB sees it.

I'll try that again!
Thu 16-May-13
3:33 pm
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Xahha
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I spent many years in my early days of my food development career working out the time and temperature regime for processing  food products , and very tedious it was then, all had to be calculated manually using thermometer probes in the densest parts of the product (e.g.chunks of meat) compared to the temperature it was processed at and looking up kill rate values for that particular temp. It is a bit more computerised now, but the principles are still the same.

 Are we having fun yet? I am!
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