Home-canned beets in Oregon linked to 3 botulism hospitalizations

Posted on August 5, 2012 by


by Ben Chapman

Three folks who attended a private bbq in Oregon earlier this month ate some home-canned beets that had not been acidified or processed sufficiently and ended up with botulism.  Putting low acid foods in a jar and sealing them without either acidifying (with vinegar/fermentation) or processing using pressure is a bad idea – it creates the ideal environment for botulism toxin formation. And botulism is pretty devastating, often resulting in paralysis and a long-term recovery period.

Below is the infosheet and highlights:

– Storing low-acid foods in a jar and sealing them without either acidifying or processing using pressure creates the ideal conditions for toxin formation.

– Tested recipes and directions for safe canning can be found at the National Center for Home Food Preservation:

– In 1977, 59 patrons of a Detroit Mexican restaurant became ill with botulism after consuming improperly canned peppers after restaurant staff put lightly-cooked peppers and water in jars and sealed them.

– Low acid foods (pH greater than 4.6) like beets cannot be safely canned using a boiling water bath unless acidified according to a tested recipe.

Click here to download.


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Posted in: Family safety