Safe Canning Techniques

Home canning can be one of the most satisfying experiences one can imagine.  Being able to see the final product of all your hard work and being able to save money at the same time something every person dreams of.  Now, before you go running out to start your own garden and canning business, you should be aware of the possible dangers of this endeavor.

Many people forget that bacteria can still be present in canned food.  Although the risk is slightly less than some other foods, it is still important to take steps to prevent it.  Using a pressure cooker instead of boiling water is one easy way that you can kill harmful toxins.  You must make sure that you choose the correct pressure cooker and also make sure that it is functioning correctly.  A common mistake that people make is having a pressure cooker that is too small.  A cooker that is too small can lead to under cooking.

The USDA consistently releases up-to-date information on safe canning practices.  Many of these practices have changed throughout the years so it is very important to receive this information from a reliable source.  Once you have taken the time to freshen up on the current techniques you should be well on your way to having a successful canning season!

Food Safety Myths

We always do our best to serve our friends and family the healthiest and safest food possible.  Sometimes people catch themselves wondering whether they are preparing it correctly or not.  We are hoping to answer some of your questions and concerns!  Here are some of the most popular questions that have recently been tested and you might be surprised to see what some myth busters found out!

5 common misunderstandings that people have about food safety:

Myth:  The more bleach I use on my counter, the cleaner it will be so it will be protect my family from harmful germs.
FACT:  It has never been proven that you should use more bleach than the recommended amount.

Myth:  Leftovers are safe to eat unless they smell bad or look moldy.
FACT:  Bacteria which cause food poisoning are not detectable by your five senses.  If you can see, smell or taste that food is bad- it is    most likely just a food quality issue.

Myth:  The only reason to let your food sit after being microwaved is so that you do not burn your tongue.
FACT:  You also must let food sit to allow it to cook all the way through.  Colder areas must be allowed to absorb heat from the  hotter areas of your food.

Myth:  I don’t need to wash my hands because I used hand sanitizing gel.
FACT:  Although hand sanitizing gel does kill some germs on the outside layer of your hands, it has a harder time affecting the deeper layers as well as grease and dirt.

Myth:  The oven was set at 375° F so the chicken has to be cooked.
FACT:  You must always check the internal temperature of the meat with a thermometer to get an accurate reading.

Are you surprised?

Tips & Tricks on Food Safety

With food borne illnesses on the rise, consumers must continue to keep up with the best food safety practices.  Whether you are cheering on your favorite football team with a grill out or getting ready to host your family for Thanksgiving, there are food safety rules that you should follow.

Many food safety measures have changed over the years and you might not even know you’re doing it wrong!  For example, did you know that you are not supposed to wash your meat?  Washing your meat may actually spread harmful bacteria onto your sink, countertops and even your apron!  Also, washing produce with soap may actually cause harm to you.  It is better to wash your produce with water due to soap containing chemicals which may be harmful to humans.

As always, when getting ready to transport food, temperature is critical.  Keeping food hot when you get into the fall and winter months in a place such as Iowa is an important issue.  Maintaining the temperature of your food at 140°F after cooking is always a good rule to remember.  As long as your chili or soup is kept in an insulated container with the lid tightly closed, it should stay hot for several hours.  If you decide to microwave your food again, be sure the internal temperature reaches at least 165°F to ensure that harmful bacteria have been killed.

For more food safety tips please visit:

http://www.extension.iastate.edu/foodsafety/consumers/index.cfm

What Can Praedium Do For You?

Food safety concern is a growing trend nationwide.  Whether you are a producer or a consumer, food safety affects you in some way.  Praedium is here to help you feel comfortable not only with the products that you purchase at your local grocery store but also the feed you may select for your animals!

One way Praedium is working to help you is by conducting Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Points (HACCP) trainings and plan development.  HAACP is a systematic approach to the identification, evaluation and control of food safety hazards.  Although this program is available to all food business operators it is only required for those producing seafood, meat and poultry products, and juice.  Both HACCP trainings and plan development can be tailored to reflect your individual needs.

For more information on how Praedium can help you please contact us at knowledge@praediumventures.com or www.praediumventures.com