The Transylvania Times -

Home Food Preservation Classes Being Offered At TCE


June 11, 2018

Food preservation had been around since ancient times and various methods have been handed down through the generations as a means of saving produce to feed a family during the winter months. Often, the methods that have been passed down have been found to be unsafe. If you preserve or can food for your family using methods taught by your grandmother or an aunt, chances are you can think of occasions when you wondered if that preserved food is safe to serve your family. As a Family and Consumer Science Extension agent, I often hear “we’ve always done it this way,” or “my grandmother canned her food this way for years and never got sick by eating it.” This may be true, but through research we are finding that many of those “old” methods are not safe.

One of the “old” methods is canning vegetables in a hot water bath. High acid foods, such as fruits, soft spreads and pickles, are foods that contain enough acid to prevent the growth of the bacteria that cause botulism poisoning. These foods can safely be preserved by processing in a hot water bath, which reaches 212 degrees Fahrenheit (F). Low acid foods, such as vegetables and meat products, contain very little or no acid. Low acid food need to be processed in a pressure canner, which reaches 240F.

The problem with canning low acid foods in a hot water bath is Clostridium botulinum forms heat-resistant spores. These sports requires a higher temperature for destruction at a reasonable period of time at 240F. C. botulinum causes botulism, which causes digestive upset (in some cases), blurred or double vision, difficulty swallowing, speaking and breathing and even death.

If you have not taken any food preservation workshops recently, join, Renay Knapp, Family Consumer Science agent for the Transylvania Cooperative Extension, at 106 E. Morgan St. in Brevard, on Tuesday, June 19, from noon to 4 p.m., or 6 to 9 p.m. to learn the basics and safety of food preservation.

This class is a prerequisite for the additional three hands-on classes being offered in July.

These three hands-on classes involve preparing the produce and processing either in the hot water bath or in the pressure canner. Each class is offered once during the day and once in the evening to accommodate different schedules.

Hands-on classes offered are: Cooked and Freezer Jams on Monday July 9, from 1 to 3 p.m., or 6 to 8 p.m., Fruits and Pickles on Thursday July 19, from 1 to 3 p.m., or 6 to 8 p.m., and Vegetables on Tuesday, July 24, from 1 to 3 p.m., or 6 to 8 p.m.

The cost for each of these four classes is $10 per person, and if you would like to purchase a Ball Blue Book, they will be available for sale for $5.

Pre-registration is necessary, so call the Transylvania Cooperative Extension at (828) 884-3109.


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