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    You are in: Home / Community Forums / Suggestions & Comments / keeping canning safe
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    keeping canning safe

    Chef Tweaker
    Mon Jul 30, 2012 3:11 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    I was wondering if you could put a pop-up or some sort of automatic disclaimer on all canning recipes (including jams if they are expected to be shelf-stable).
    Some of the recipes are fine... but others are just creations that are not potentially safe. There are many gullible people surfing the net who will believe that since a well meaning person posted it... then it should be safe.
    The disclaimer could include a link to http://nchfp.uga.edu/index.html for more info, or another such site.


    Also it would be nice if you loosened up on the "no questions in the comments" rule. I understand the reason behind it... things would get really cluttered if people abused the privelege. Unfortunately sometimes the question is actually for everyone to see in order to warn them.

    For example... this review I recently tried to submit (doesn't even have a question... just the word "question"!) but it was rejected.

    I am wondering what is the source of the recipe. (can't state this as a question because it won't let it go thru) It looks yummy but I don't know if it is safe to can. Having onions and peppers reduces the acidity and you only have half cup of vinegar to offset it.

    re: this recipe Fruit & Tomato Salsa
    Chocolatl
    Mon Jul 30, 2012 4:28 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    Why don't you send a zmail to the posting chef?
    Chef Tweaker
    Mon Jul 30, 2012 4:59 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    Chocolatl wrote:
    Why don't you send a zmail to the posting chef?


    I did just after this post. We shall see if I get a response. (older recipe and not a lot of activity by the chef).

    Also I noticed after the fact, that there is a cup of lemon juice so it might be perfectly safe after all.
    Molly53
    Wed Aug 08, 2012 7:04 pm
    Forum Host
    The thing is that this is an international site, Tweaker.

    There are several agencies in various countries that publish canning standards and that information can vary by organization and country.

    We try to keep in mind that there may be more than one acceptable standard. Even in North America, you'll find people using heirloom methods quite successfully.

    When we can, we encourage all canners (particularly new ones) to apply the latest guidance from the NCHFP/USDA (National Center for Home Food Preservation) for optimum, shelf-stable food storage safety.

    Much of that advice is predicated on the new canner/bottler being able to access the recommended equipment which is not always the circumstance for members located in other parts of the globe. It would be impossible to apply North American guidelines in those cases.

    We are all here to promote food preservation and share our knowledge with other members.

    My suggestion to you is that when you see a recipe that might not be up to date with the directions is to say something on the order of "This is an heirloom recipe that no longer meets the latest USDA/NCHFP (National Center for Home Food Preservation) guidelines <for this reason>. While this recipe is written in a relatively old-fashioned way, it is perfectly safe if processed using modern methods. If you are unfamiliar with these techniques, please go to http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/how/can_home.html for the current information." in response to a query or as a no-star recipe review.
    Omit the "perfectly safe if processed, etc" sentence if you don't believe the recipe is safe.

    Also, if you would, please refer people to our Canning/Preserving/ Dehydrating forum. There's generally always someone there who will be able to give people accurate, current information to any queries.
    Chef Tweaker
    Thu Aug 09, 2012 12:33 am
    Food.com Groupie
    OK, I will try that tact,
    I understand the issues with international guidelines but still feel a pop-up or note to that effect could still be helpful. It would not be picking on any one recipe because it would show with ALL canning recipes and could say "please check the most current guidelines for your country" or something to that affect. (I'm surprised their lawyers haven't required it!)
    Chocolatl
    Thu Aug 09, 2012 12:48 am
    Food.com Groupie
    I don't know. Guidelines may differ in various countries, but does that really affect whether or not something is safe? Can you really say for example, that "This is safe to do in Germany but not in the USA"? That doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

    I think you do need to apply some common sense as well.
    Chef Tweaker
    Thu Aug 09, 2012 1:03 am
    Food.com Groupie
    Chocolatl wrote:
    I don't know. Guidelines may differ in various countries, but does that really affect whether or not something is safe? Can you really say for example, that "This is safe to do in Germany but not in the USA"? That doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

    I think you do need to apply some common sense as well.

    Exactly!
    Dib's
    Thu Aug 09, 2012 9:40 am
    Food.com Groupie
    Chef Tweaker wrote:
    OK, I will try that tact,
    I understand the issues with international guidelines but still feel a pop-up or note to that effect could still be helpful. It would not be picking on any one recipe because it would show with ALL canning recipes and could say "please check the most current guidelines for your country" or something to that affect. (I'm surprised their lawyers haven't required it!)


    The same could be said for "rare" steak, or burgers, eating raw egg in recipes & that's the super short list. Someone else mentioned common sense which works for about 4999 out of 5000. That remaining one usually makes us think......Yes, they walk among us icon_wink.gif
    Chef Tweaker
    Thu Aug 09, 2012 1:17 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    Botulism is much more serious than samonella or even E coli... although the point is well taken. I think that a larger % of people realize their risks for the above mentioned list... (I don't agree about rare steak tho... just rare burger. Since steak is one piece of meat the outside is the area that is contaminated and as long as it isn't blue steak it should be fine) haha... see, I can see where everyone could jump in on their opinions even with canning.

    My point was that "I" personally didn't know much about canning when I started... I found a BBQ sauce I really liked and went on the canning forum asking how to can it. That was when I was told you can't just can anything you want. I started to research and got informed. I consider myself a relatively intelligent person and I know I would have believed any recipe I read that gave canning instructions so I'm just trying to save some other similarly gullible person any mistakes and encourage them to do their due-diligence as well.
    Zeldaz
    Wed Aug 15, 2012 6:35 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    Tweaker, Molly gave me the same advice about posting comments with no stars and I've been doing that whenever I see a recipe that is questionable. If we keep at it, maybe we can hit all of them eventually! The key is to say it without hurting the feelings of the contributor, but so far I've had no negative feedback.
    Chocolatl
    Thu Aug 16, 2012 12:30 am
    Food.com Groupie
    Zeldaz wrote:
    Tweaker, Molly gave me the same advice about posting comments with no stars and I've been doing that whenever I see a recipe that is questionable. If we keep at it, maybe we can hit all of them eventually! The key is to say it without hurting the feelings of the contributor, but so far I've had no negative feedback.


    Molly's right. It's better to ask the question of the person than to post it as a comment, because you can't delete a comment. Some people don't give negative feedback no matter what they think or feel, so you can't go by that.
    Chef Tweaker
    Wed Sep 19, 2012 1:00 am
    Food.com Groupie
    Chocolatl wrote:
    Zeldaz wrote:
    Tweaker, Molly gave me the same advice about posting comments with no stars and I've been doing that whenever I see a recipe that is questionable. If we keep at it, maybe we can hit all of them eventually! The key is to say it without hurting the feelings of the contributor, but so far I've had no negative feedback.


    Molly's right. It's better to ask the question of the person than to post it as a comment, because you can't delete a comment. Some people don't give negative feedback no matter what they think or feel, so you can't go by that.

    Well I did get a response from her a few days ago... just sitting on it as her response was that it is a homemade recipe. Gave the typical "I have been making it for years, and I have never had any problems with it."

    I don't know if I would agree with saying it would be "safe if using current standards"... it already has 20 min water bath processing time. The concern is the addition of onions and peppers and optional tomato paste to make it thicker.

    Maybe I will suggest that it be refrigerated or frozen. I wish the NCHFP had a better statement... there is a FAQ re: canning homemade salsa but it doesn't cut-and-paste well. Here is the best statement I found within the answer: "A process must be scientifically determined for each recipe." so I may throw that in there.
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