For those who have a vegetable garden, summer is the perfect time to roll up your sleeves and prepare jams and preserves with the products of your garden. But pay attention to the procedure used. In fact, if done in the wrong way, vegetables and preserves can be contaminated by the Botox germ.
The botulinum germ is found in soil and can survive, grow and produce toxins in sealed jars with food. The toxin affects the nerves, paralyzing and even causing death. Even a little taste of contaminated food is enough to die.
To remember this are the Centers for disease control (CDC) of Atlanta, USA, which provide some advice on how to protect yourself and avoid nasty surprises.
1- Always use up-to-date information.
Don't rely on old books or grandmother's notes to prepare the preserves. Follow official sources (for example the National Institute of Health - ISS).
2 - Use the pressure cooker.
To prepare vegetables, meat, poultry and fish for preservation, you need to use the pressure cooker. Thus the botulinum germ is killed if the food is processed at the right time, for the right duration. Boiling the jars in this case does not protect against botulinum poisoning.
3 - Fruit and jams: yes to the boiling of the jars.
For fruit and jams, the jars can be boiled in water. And as the ISS reports "jams and marmalades should be made with traditional recipes that require the use of fruit and sugar in equal quantities. Lower sugar contents could allow alterations of the preserves, even if not necessarily borne by the Botox".
4 - Boiling does not protect against Botox.
Again as reported by the Istituto Superiore di Sanità, "Boiling (reaching 100 ° C) as a stabilization measure for canned food is not sufficient to destroy the spores and therefore prevent them from multiplying and producing toxin. an unfavorable effect as it stimulates the germination of the spore and kills all the microorganisms naturally present in the preserves (potential competitors of botulinum), so as to favor the growth of the botulinum. Furthermore, boiling eliminates the air from the food and from the preservation liquid and favors the onset of anaerobiosis ".
The foods that do not allow the development of Botox and are therefore safe if prepared in the right way are all naturally preserved acidify or acidify (for example the tomato sauce and the pickles), the preserves prepared with high sugar concentrations (jams and marmalades) or sale (canned food in brine). Go to the Ministry of Health website to read the right concentrations.
Symptoms of botulinum intoxication
Double or clouded seeing, drooping eyelids, confused speech, difficulty swallowing, dry lips and muscle weakness: if you experience these symptoms from 6 hours after consumption to 10 days later, you should go to the hospital immediately.
Foods can look, smell and taste normal, even if contaminated.
It is also advisable not to give honey to children under one year old, as it may contain botulinum.
Source: CDC and ISS
- homemade jam
- homemade preserves