About Botulism

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About Botulism Blog

Home canning? Be Careful!

We thought we’d pass along some advice we read in the Springfield News Leader about home canning.   This newspaper had readers who proudly call themselves “Ozarkers.”  But those folks are not the only ones these days who are trying to be more self-sufficient and thrifty, so listen up!

Canning fresh foods at home can be a safe and affordable way to preserve bounty from your garden, but it can also pose a health risk if done improperly, said Jaci McReynolds, with the Springfield-Greene County Health Department.

“The most serious health risks with home canning are caused by improper preparation of the food during the canning process,” she said.

“In fact, about 90 percent of the foodborne illness outbreaks and death related to botulism can be traced to improperly home canned low-acid foods,” she said.

Botulism is a deadly toxin produced by the bacteria Clostridium botulinum, McReynolds said.

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