Meat is one of those things that people tend to be the most scared to try canning. Food poisoning can be a very serious matter. I don’t blame anyone who approaches preserving meats with trepidation. I was the same way when I first started canning! My biggest fear was that I would do something wrong and make my family sick because of a tiny mistake. It really was a step of faith for me when I opened that first jar of home canned meat, heated it up, and took that first bite. As a matter of fact, I didn’t let my family try any until the next day just to make sure I didn’t get sick through the night. It was that serious to me.
Why so much anxiety? In one word: Botulism.
Botulism is a rare, but serious illness caused by a germ called Clostridium botulinum. The germ is found in soil and can survive, grow, and produce toxin in a sealed jar of food. This toxin can affect your nerves, paralyze you, and even cause death. Even taking a small taste of food containing this toxin can be deadly.
Botulism is a medical emergency. If you have symptoms of food borne botulism, seek medical care immediately.
Symptoms may include the following:
- Double vision
- Blurred vision
- Drooping eyelids
- Slurred speech
- Difficulty swallowing
- Dry mouth
- Muscle weakness
I start off with this information not to scare you, but to inform you of just how dangerous it can be if you take short cuts when canning meat and other foods. It isn’t worth the risk to skip steps trying to save time or money.
With that said, home canned meat has been one of my favorite things to learn to preserve. With experience I’ve gained confidence, and I’m no longer afraid that I might poison my family because I know what to do and what not to do in order to be safe. I want to encourage you that with the information I’ll be sharing here, you too can have the confidence to can meat without fear!
There are very specific steps to take and a few precautions to follow, but as long as you stick to these guidelines you can be sure that your meats will be safe to enjoy.
Let’s go over 23 things you need to know to can meat safely! Click here to continue reading…