That was what I was doing, commercial products and the cooking in cans of meat and other type products.
One of the safeest foods to eat is canned pet food, the heat treatment regime is about 10 times greater than most human food products. The thinking is, humans might shrug off a jippy tummy, but cause the death of one cat or dog, and you go out of business!
You may not ever want to taste canned pet food, but it is safe!
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I remember hearing that all canned pet food has to be fit for human consumption too. I heard an interview with someone who claimed to work as a pet food tester in a factory...
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I understand the comments and concerns about canning meat BUT is it not a case of being overly protective and/or paranoid. Will state now I know not how many die from eating canned meat in relation to those who don't die.
Only reason I have for these thoughts is jarring (canning) meat has happened in homes for years. Here the neighbours think I'm mad for putting any part of a slaughtered lamb in the freezer and are convinced that it will be not fit for eating within 3 months. I have had jarred lamb, goat and rabbit from neighbours.
Our plan is next lamb slaughter (Gromit) will have his legs frozen but the rest will be deboned, cubed packed into clean cold jars which will be lidded and then waterbathed (5 hours from when water reaches boiling point) before being stored.
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Failing is not a fault, refusing to try is
It is common practice I know in many countries to do canning in jars, but you are risking a lot when doing so. A waterbath cooking of 5 hours is a goodly long time and will kill off most organisms, but will still be short of the time to kill Clostridium, by at least and hour maybe and hour and a half. Pressure canning would be better if you can do it. (Pressure cooker with 10 lbs pressure, minimum of 90 minutes I have seen reported. Above 2000 feet, 15 lbs pressure may be needed.)
These are not recommendations by me, just pointing out some facts I have researched online, and from past, albeit a long time ago, expereince in the food industry.
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Back late than I should been as Hotmail have decided that emails frem this site are junk no idea Why? I note when I have not sealed the lids properly ie it has not popped and I open the jar there is always "fur" on the top. Although I only did it once and it was a tomatoe sauce. I am not sure I fully understand what is being said? If I do it the way am doing it now and then boil the jars for a certain amount of time there is little chance of me being poisened. Also as it is meat based wouldn't reheating it kill anything that has developed?? Thanks JB
I think I won't advise any further on this- I would not water bath anything with meat in it.
Please get advice from someone who is well versed in safe canning practices, and accept what they say. It needs to be somebody who is professionally qualified in this field.
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I have owned an All American 921 21 quart pressure canner since about 5 years. Bought it off Amazons' US site and paid to have it shipped to the UK, hand carried to Hungary from there. Think that it will cost something like 220 pds to do this today, i.e. to get one in the UK. Cheaper lightweight stainless steel versions with a gasket are probably 50 - 80 pds less, but I wanted one that works without a gasket for longevity. Holds up to 14 750 - 800 ml jars at a time.
It's a magic device, and I use it frequently, especially to jar meats, fish, stocks, soups and some prepared foods (best baked beans ever). Part of the reason for getting it was our second freezer was on its way out and the cost to buy the canner was about the same as a replacement freezer. The other part was that I liked the idea of prepared food that you could eat without having to think, dig about for, thaw, microwave. With this you just crack the jar - a lot of the time, I just heat the jar in a pan of simmering water for about 15 minutes, crack the lid and serve.
I researched quite extensively before I bought the device, and learned enough about the risks involved that I take them very seriously. I only follow USDA approved recipes and cooking methods - easily available online. Apparently it costs up to $10k to fully test a new recipe - you need to be cracking jars from different batches for over a year and testing them in a lab, so not a trivial exercise. In the USA the Department of Agriculture contracts University laboratories to do this.
A basic recipe book comes with the canner, a fuller one is available from Blue Ball who are the biggest jar suppler in the US. The risks of "free-styling" outside tested methodology are that you can poison yourself, your family or anyone else with whom you share the food. Botulism spores survive extensive boiling, and thrive in a low oxygen, low-acid environment - which is exactly what you have in a jar of preserved meat or veg. Botulin, which is the poison produced, is odourless and tasteless, often fatal and always very nasty - as in minimum weeks in hospital, months to recovery and very likely lasting damage. What kills the spores is an extended period at over 110 celsius, which is what a pressure canner does and what a hot water bath, by the laws of physics, cannot. Preserving meats or low-acid veg in a hot water bath is playing Russian roulette with at least 2 chambers loaded.
You don't need one if all / most of what you preserve is fruit or tomato based - these are acid enough that botulism cannot survive, but if you have a lot of veg, meat or fish to process the canner is well worthwhile, if you can get the jars easily. New 750 ml jars with screw-top lids are about 30 p each here, but I bet much more in the UK. I would point out that my partners' parents keep pigs and poultry and have a 1/2 acre vegetable plot, and we spend each summer by a lake with fish traps in the water, so I get good use out of the investment.
This is all quite fascinating. I wonder how people survive if using the water bath method only, unless they used very long timings, which may not be a widely known requirement. Possibly a region may build up immunity to specific bacterial strains over time. It's so good to have a professional from the food & drinks industry to provide the true technical rationale. Thank you, Hannah.
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