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?
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
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.
Life doesn't require that we be the best
Only that we try our best
- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
Thanks for your replies
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?
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.
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 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
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
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.
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.
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