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#196850 - 02/28/10 11:09 PM Re: Canned meat field test [Re: Susan]
Teslinhiker Offline

Registered: 12/14/09
Posts: 1412
Loc: Cranbrook BC (Finally)
Originally Posted By: Susan
Mac, like many situations discussed here, luck is always a common factor. Sometimes it's good luck, sometimes it's bad luck.

You and yours have been lucky.

Fact: Botulism is only killed by temperatures over 240F (116C). Foods preserved by the water bath method only reach 212F (100C).

"Because we've always done it that way" is not a rational explanation of why something shouldn't be changed for a good reason. Exposing yourself and your family and friends to a paralytic poisoning that has a 70% death rate if untreated (think: during a disaster) doesn't make sense when you know better.

Anything that involves the term "mechanical ventilation" should be avoided, IMO.


Very good explanation Sue. Too bad that it is falling on deaf ears with a certain person here and his latest post will not warrant any further replies from me. It is hopeful though, other people here learn from the scientifically proven facts presented here in regards to safely canning food.
Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.

John Lubbock

#196852 - 02/28/10 11:22 PM Re: Canned meat field test [Re: Byrd_Huntr]
Am_Fear_Liath_Mor Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 3078

Glenryck Pilchards are tasty and very good source of inexpensive high protein survival food.


You can get 3 tins of Pilchards (425grams net weight 485kcal 4.3 percent fat) to a cost of a single tin of Spam (340g net weight 983kcal 24.5 percent fat). If you want to increase the fat content you can drizzle some virgin olive oil over the pilchards. You really wouldn't want to drizzle olive oil over Spam. sick

#196855 - 03/01/10 12:18 AM Re: Canned meat field test [Re: Teslinhiker]
Mac Offline

Registered: 02/24/10
Posts: 77
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Originally Posted By: Teslinhiker

...his latest post will not warrant any further replies from me.


Good. I thought we have moved on from this. I respect your opinions, really I do. but..
I like what I am doing just fine. If you don't agree then that's o.k. I wasen't trying to change anyones mind on the matter. To each his/her own. It wasen't falling on deaf ears either, I just am inclined to continue doing what has always worked for me. You think I was about to stop doing somthing I have been doing succesfully for over 30 years because you said I should on a forum?

Now, lets continue on about field testing SPAM Eh?
I'm here to enquire about your spoons - Salad fingers

#196862 - 03/01/10 12:54 AM Re: Canned meat field test [Re: Susan]
Byrd_Huntr Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 01/28/10
Posts: 1174
Loc: MN, Land O' Lakes & Rivers ...
Originally Posted By: Susan
Teslinhiker is totally correct. The waterbath method is only safe for fruits, sugared foods (jams) and high-acid foods like regular tomatoes (not the yellow low-acid kinds).

The only alternative I know is to raise the acidity of the low-acid foods by adding an acid like vinegar, which may alter the taste.

Here is the updated, online USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning.

Just FYI, the crop that has had the most incidents with botulism in home canning is green beans. Properly done, they're safe.

A home pressure COOKER is just as good as a home pressure CANNER, it just can't hold as much.


It hardly seems worth the effort unless a person has a really cheap source of fresh meat. By the time you purchased the necessary equipment and buy and cook the meat, and then process it for canning, you could have laid in an adequate supply of emergency pre-canned meat for less time cost and effort.
The man got the powr but the byrd got the wyng

#196863 - 03/01/10 12:58 AM Re: Canned meat field test [Re: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor]
Art_in_FL Offline

Registered: 09/01/07
Posts: 2432
Everyone has to make their own decisions. Mac has a point because it has always worked for him and his. Tradition and a history of success is a pretty good argument on its own.

I modify this only to the extent that you might want to know why things work ... and when and how they can stop working.

I suspect that what is saving him is that there isn't any botulism present. If the animals aren't infected and the equipment, and people, are free of botulism there are none to kill and a simple boiling water bath is relatively safe. What works works.

But it also helps to know the limits of any system. If conditions change and somehow botulism gets into or onto the animals, equipment, or humans doing the processing what has worked in the past might not work out so well.

Mac also has a point that even mass produced foods are not completely safe. Much of the inspection process was transfer to the industry being inspected back when deregulation was all the rage. Inspectors, certified by the government but paid by the owners of the plant they inspect, know who signs their check. Much of the meat produced in Europe can be tracked from the individual animal and farm to the specific package.

In the US we have difficulty telling which meat packing plant was used and narrowing it down to farm is impossible. The system is so slack that cases that kill people are coming up as 'unknown origin'. Testing is done after people start getting sick.

That said, the food supply is relatively, if not perfectly, safe. We are a long way from sliding back to the days before the pure food act. When food poisoning was a regular occurrence and every town had a drumbeat of people keeling over from 'something they ate'.

IMHO Mac would do well to substitute a pressure cooker for the regular canning pot when canning meat but it isn't my call. If the meat he cans is never infected with botulism a pressure cooker won't make much difference.

Life is risky. Nobody get out of here alive. Absolute safety isn't possible. Everyone has to draw the line where they think it should be. If Mac is cool with what has always worked; even if it means he is potentially taking a risk. I'm cool with that.

#196864 - 03/01/10 01:00 AM Re: Canned meat field test [Re: Mac]

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 1852

i would like to point out that many of our friends in Canada have been living what most Americans would think of as a "survival" lifestyle.killing game,preserving it in lots of ways along with all the rest of the semi frontier ways of doing things that most folks only get a touch of on camping trips.my only interest in all this is short term wilderness survival but if i was looking for tips on that other kind of survival that is brought up here i would look to someone up North or "way down South" on how to live without modern conveniences.practical knowledge beats "book learning" any day when it comes to outdoor living..

#196865 - 03/01/10 01:07 AM Re: Canned meat field test [Re: Byrd_Huntr]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7326
Loc: southern Cal

How Do I?
...Can Meats
Preparing and Canning Poultry, Red Meats and Seafoods

Note: There are no safe options for canning these foods in a boiling water canner.

These are the opening lines in the USDA section on canning meats. Seems pretty clear. Interesting thread.
Geezer in Chief

#196866 - 03/01/10 01:12 AM Re: Canned meat field test [Re: Mac]
Byrd_Huntr Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 01/28/10
Posts: 1174
Loc: MN, Land O' Lakes & Rivers ...
Originally Posted By: Mac
Back on topic

You can't really say you field tested the new spam till you test it under field conditions.

Freeze it, thaw it, freeze it, thaw it. Let it sit for a while then do it again. Open the can outside in the rain when its dark and cold. Eat it with your fingers. Now you have field tested it.

Wonder how it will taste now?

The cache I was describing is for home use and is kept in a cool corner of my basement. I tested it under the conditions that I expect to use it in. It's only cold outside in the winter, and as I have also made provisions for emergency heat, my supplies are unlikely to to freeze in my basement. In my experience, food eaten with a fork tastes pretty much the same as food eaten with my fingers. It just has four extra holes in it. I use other provisions for outdoor survival use.

I am also trained in food safety, and it is part of my daily job responsibilities. I also grew up eating home canned food, and I know there is a knack to it. Eat enough improperly processed or non-acidic home canned food, and you will eventually contract botulism or salmonella poisoning.
The man got the powr but the byrd got the wyng

#196868 - 03/01/10 01:23 AM Re: Canned meat field test [Re: Susan]
Byrd_Huntr Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 01/28/10
Posts: 1174
Loc: MN, Land O' Lakes & Rivers ...
Originally Posted By: Susan

Anything that involves the term "mechanical ventilation" should be avoided, IMO.


What do you mean by this?
The man got the powr but the byrd got the wyng

#196870 - 03/01/10 01:33 AM Re: Canned meat field test [Re: Byrd_Huntr]
ILBob Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 02/05/10
Posts: 776
Loc: Northern IL
The answer seems to be that while boiling water canning is pretty safe, pressure canning is modestly safer. The problem is that botulism is often fatal.

OTOH, meat infected with botulism is pretty rare other than certain kinds of fish and pork, IIRC.

It also seems to me that there are more cases of infant botulism from honey ingestion than there is from improperly canned meats.

It seems the risk is relatively low, but can be reduced even more by pressure canning.

I have often heard the statement that you cannot kill botulism spores in food by the application of temperatures at the boiling point of water, yet it is claimed this is adequate for disinfection of drinking water and 160-180 degrees is considered safe for cooking of meat.

I realize that botulism poisoning is the result of a toxin released as a side effect of the spore growing in your food, and not an infection. But it also possible to get botulism poisoning from ingesting contaminated meat or getting the spores in an open wound, so how is it safe to eat pork at 160 degrees?
Warning - I am not an expert on anything having to do with this forum, but that won't stop me from saying what I think. smile


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