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How Not to Die of Botulism

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Since you're still alive I'm guessing this advice worked?

This is great... more important given the amount of us trying to get back to our roots and preserve things.  A couple years back I was tempted to eat the pickles that had molded over in the crock--it's really critical to make sure they stay submerged, and not easy since they want to float to the surface and see what's going on.  I wanted to rinse them, but my Master Gardener friend said, "You will die."  There are things to take a chance on--like whether that potato salad was left out a smidge too long, and there are things to toss or "You will die."  And not a good death, a painful one. 

Here's my post "Three Ways to Die: Try Canning."  Luckily, we're all still alive:)  And the food's pretty good, too. 

I never knew that canning was so dangerous!

So is the rule that anything that looks bad IS bad?

Korean peoples use big flat river stones to hold our kimchi down in the crock. But to be honest we eat a lot of stuff that has mold on it! Fermenting is not really possible without our fungus friends, after all.

No. Bleu cheese looks awful and it is good.

Homemade foods are the leading cause of disease in the United States?!

Modern foodborne outbreaks occur when botulism control methods are deliberately, or inadvertently, ignored. Homemade foods are now the leading cause of the disease in the U.S., which is not surprising, as only 59 percent of home canners preserving botulism-friendly low acid vegetables actually use a pressure sterilizing process, according to a National Center for Home Food Preservation survey. Fortunately, botulism remains rare nationwide: between 1990 and 2000, 160 outbreaks afflicted only 263 people. And advances in medical care, including antitoxin availability and intensive care units, have decreased the fatality rate from 60 percent in the first half of the 20th century to about 5 percent now.

Yeah medicine!!

I like the open source solution:

Underground Meats, a Wisconsin meat curer and culinary sibling of Forequarter, a James Beard semi-finalist restaurant, proposes an innovative solution. With more than $49,000 raised on the fundraising website Kickstarter, underground meatmaster Jonny Hunter aims to develop and publish an open-source food safety plan for the production dry-cured salami. This plan, known as a “Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points,” proves to regulators that a recipe is safe. In the artisan salami world, HACCP’s are typically closely guarded industry secrets, given the time, money, and scientific resources invested in their development.

Hunter aims to “make our local food more accessible and safe.” To stifle harmful bacteria, Underground Meats employs a strategy of acidity changes, controlled drying, and addition of nitrates to directly kill any remaining bugs including C. botulinum. “Nitrate-free” and “no nitrite added” meats, Hunter adds, are a “huge hoax,” as they are made with celery powder—an alternative source of nitrates, albeit not labeled as such. “We believe food safety information should not be proprietary. If someone has a better idea about how a process can limit food borne illness, that information should be free for everyone to access.” He continues, “Open source could be a great model in increasing the food safety knowledge in this community and I hope it is one that sticks.” Somewhere in Sausage Heaven, Justinus Kerner is smiling.

Oooh, I did not know that PRISON BOOZE could grow botulism! This may come in handy someday...

The Crimes of Joyce...

I did not know about death by tapioca!

21 most dangerous foods in the world infographic chart

No danger in my eating a giant bullfrog but I had no idea tapioca, kidney beans, cashews, and star fruit are so dangerous!

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