Standard Mason style canning jars have been used for home food preservation for decades. In the last few years, creative people are finding new uses for canning jars as they have become a trendy decorative item. What is safe for food preservation and what is safe to maintain the integrity of your jars?
Water bathing and pressure canning are two common ways to preserve foods by canning. These techniques use heat processing to preserve foods, and which technique you use depends on the acidity of the food.
From Gardens to pantries, home canning is a healthy mainstay in American lives. Canning allows an economical way to preserve important vitamins and nutrients from fresh quality, locally grown fruits and vegetables while maintaining control over food additives such as sugar and salt.
South Dakota is no stranger to power outages and power surges due to blizzards, ice storms and related weather conditions. If the power in your area of the state has experienced intermittent or complete loss of electrical power, or power surges, check all freezers occasionally to be sure they work properly.
The Animal Disease Research and Diagnostic Lab (ADRDL) at SDSU has a specific lab dedicated to food safety testing for smaller family businesses like the local locker plant. It’s a very natural fit. Most foodborne germs are very similar to those the lab routinely diagnoses in cases of animal disease. They already possess the people, equipment, and most importantly the knowledge to rapidly and accurately detect these germs in food.
The term “food waste” has become more popular in the press, however it is not necessarily a new term. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations identified food losses within its mandate when established in 1945. The scope of food loss and waste continues to be a priority for the FAO as well as many other organizations, government agencies, and the private sector.
The SDSU Extension Food Safety Specialist works closely with food entrepreneurs across the state to assist them in addressing safety, regulatory and other types of product development needs. Since 2002, this position has been very successfully occupied by Dr. Joan Hegerfeld-Baker who has decided to retire as of March 21, 2016. Food entrepreneurs have several options to connect with resources within South Dakota, as well as other states, while this position is being filled.
For many people, oysters are an added delicacy during the holidays, while others enjoy year round. The consumption of raw oysters has increased in popularity over the years, the Upper Midwest is no exception. Therefore, high-risk individuals are advised to not eat raw oysters – consume only those that have been thoroughly cooked.
The holidays often involve preparing turkey. Planning ahead to safely prepare and roast a turkey will relieve some of the cooking stress associated with the holidays. When purchasing a fresh or frozen turkey, allow one pound of turkey per person. Frozen turkeys require several days to thaw. Thaw in the refrigerator (40 degrees or below), allow about 24 hours for every 4-5 pounds.
Home canning of pumpkin butter and mashed or pureed pumpkin and winter squash is not recommended by the USDA. Pumpkin butter recipes often have acid, such as vinegar or lemon juice, added to reduce the pH level below 4.6 (a level at which the pathogen Clostridium botulinum will not grow). Food safety concerns related to pumpkin butter were studied by the University of Missouri in 1995.