Comment about canning

Shared Acres

11 Years
Aug 10, 2008
Northeast Fla
I see a lot of people talking about canning on here, and while I think it is a great idea, I just wanted to forewarn you...

My cousin is still recovering from an illness due to something being canned wrong.

She got a severe case of botulism that basically put her in a coma and she was in the hospital for several months. She slowly recovered but then had to learn how to walk all over again.

She has one of those scars on her throat from where a tube went down her throat.

She was in 9th grade when it happened, she'll be graduating this year.

Sooooo, be VERY CAREFUL about dented cans and canning things correctly!


11 Years
Apr 8, 2008
Oh man that is so scary!! I just started canning, and that is horrible. Did she get sick from her own canning or someone elses?


Flock Mistress
12 Years
Jun 29, 2007
Kansas~50+ yrs of chickens
If you follow the guidelines from your local extension office, keep every thing super clean and use the correct canning method...either hot water bath or pressure canner.....for whatever fruit or veggie you're canning there shouldn't be a problem.


11 Years
May 15, 2008
Planet Earth
I too just got into canning. Tomato sauces and vege soups. Can I ask, is there signs to look for? Say wouldn't the contents be smelly? or moldy? I wouldn't trust anything with a dented lid etc. This has me nervous.


BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
13 Years
Jan 11, 2007
NE Washington State
If you follow the guidelines and instructions in your canner and use proper food handling methods like Katy says you should have no cause for worry.

Make sure you are using the correct canning technique, like using pressure canning methods for low acid food.

The biggest thing is using waterbath canning for veggies that are not pickled or are low acid. It is not safe.

The other biggest thing is if you can something and the sealing lid is not sucked in you do not have a good seal. Do not smell it, do not taste it. If you have a doubt, throw it out.


Flock Mistress
12 Years
Apr 20, 2007
Ontario, Canada
There can sometimes be enough botulinum toxin in a jar to kill ya or make you seriously sick *without* noticeable signs of spoilage (bubbling, exploding, off odor, off color, sliminess, etc). So it is real important to use UP TO DATE canning instructions and as TL says, follow them exactly.

Yes, I know that our mothers and grandmothers and great-grandmothers did all sorts of stuff that are not considered safe today (like hot-pack-no-processing recipes or oven canning or steam canning or waterbath-processing things that oughta be pressure-canned) and generally they lived to tell about it...

...but not always. "Ptomaine poisoning" etc was an actual, recurring cause of death. The fact that it's extremely rare now (I am glad the o.p.'s cousin is ok!) does owe a certain amount to decades of food-science research testing failure rates of different methods.

If you are just canning for your own use then, you know, everyone has their own risk-tolerance levels. But if you are canning for OTHER people to eat, it is probably a good idea to use the highest standards of food safety available; particularly for things that are not already considerably acid (pickles and acid veggies), since lower acidity things are where you are likelier to get botulism problems.




11 Years
Apr 15, 2008
On the topic of canning with the correct instructions....I'm a newby to canning, canned for the first time this yr.
I read in my Ball Blue Book all about the temperature at which the Water Bath Canner should be to be at the process boiling point. My question is do you guys use a thermometer to keep an eye on the water temperature? I canned this year & kept my long turkey fryer thermometer in the pot of water to watch the temp get to the right degree, then I started my timer for the processing. I know from watching the thermometer that the water will be boiling rapidly & may not be hitting the exact WBC processing temperature. I'm new so I wanted to make sure I was processing hot enough. What do you all do?


11 Years
Jun 20, 2008
Henry County Kentucky
You Guys are making me feel older than dirt!
I am one of those Grandmothers who did a lot of that canning, preserving, drying, and storing food. We even now grow winter crops to store in cellars and inverted in dirt ditches covered with straw.
If half of you saw how pickles were made you'd probably throw up!


Premium Feather Member
12 Years
May 7, 2007
Forks, Virginia
This is why it is so very important to can things by the method that is safest.

There are many on this forum that can using only the water bath method. Water bath canning is unsafe for most foods and for meats.

Please make sure you are using the recommended method of canning when putting up stocks for your pantry shelves.

A good pressure canner will last you a lifetime and is one of the nest investments the homemaker and home canner can purchase.

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