Caveat: Don’t do as I do! Seriously . . I don’t want anyone to get sick and I surely don’t want anyone to blame me so I’m just telling you what I do and I am NOT recommending that you do the same.
You cannot see, taste or smell the botulinum toxin that causes botulism. By following safe canning methods, I do not fear botulism. According to the Ohio State University Extension Service, “the toxin that Clostridium botulinum produces is among the most deadly food toxin known. Fortunately, heat destroys the toxin and cooking is the best way to control botulism.”
So . . I always, always, always make sure anything that has been canned is (1) never tasted until it has been cooked and (2) I boil canned foods for at least 20 minutes before tasting. That’s green beans, chili, soups. I will sometimes add extra water so all the liquid doesn’t cook out but 20 minutes at a boil!
There are many good, trustworthy resources out there with canning advice. I read about people doing things all the time that scare me to death! I hate to say it but I will hardly eat anything canned by anyone else just because I know how little attention some people pay to safety. Maybe they’re right . . maybe not . . it isn’t a chance I’m willing to take.
The other day on Facebook, a lady was talking about canning yellow squash in a water bath canner. People tried to tell her that it’s a low acid food and needs to be pressure canned. Others said “I’ve canned it in a water bath canner for years and we’ve never been sick.” I stayed out of it because it was getting heated and I could see no one was going to change anyone’s mind but I would never can low acid foods with just a water bath canner.
What I will do is eat older canned foods. The National Center for Home Food Preservation says: “Properly canned food stored in a cool, dry place will retain optimum eating quality for at least 1 year.”
At least one year – to me, that doesn’t mean only one year.
Yesterday I went to my soup shelf and was going through the soups I had on the shelf. When I saw this jar of taco soup, I knew what I wanted. We had Fritos and grated cheese, which were perfect for this soup.
That’s taco soup that was canned in 2014 – that’s six years ago! Even though you cannot smell botulism, I smelled the soup for any other foul or rancid smells. Everything smelled fine. I added a bit of water and boiled it for about 25 minutes, tasted it and it was as fresh as it was the day I made it.
I told Vince that in the Fall, when it gets cooler, I want to make a bunch of soups to can. We are really low on canned soups. I like to have chili, turkey & kale, taco soup – a variety of bean soups on hand.
I have not read through all these sites but here are some I found that have some interesting looking soup recipes.
- USDA “Your Choice” Soup – there are a lot of options here.
- Better Homes & Gardens
- Chicken Mexican Soup
There are many recipes for canned soups. These are three sites that popped up that look like recipes I’d like to try.