Sunday, April 13, 2014

Home Canning, More Quality Information.

This next post was taken from Backwoods Home Blog. written by Lee 01-18-2010.  We don't like taking information from another blog but when it comes to canning and safety we feel a need to help spread quality information. We are not canning experts and only express our experiences on this blog.  Always refer to USDA or FDA guidelines when processing for your family.  Always reheat before you eat!

Make your own decision.

Caution: Do not add noodles or other pasta, rice, flour, cream, milk or other thickening agents to home canned soups. If dried beans or peas are used, they must be fully rehydrated first. 
National Center for Home Food Preservation

Not all types of homemade soups can be successfully preserved for long-term storage; we cannot offer you options for canning soups thickened with flours or cornstarches, or containing rice, pasta or cream.

There is not a research tested recipe for safely canning chicken noodle soup at home. You can can chicken in broth and then add noodles when you open the jar, but it is not recommended to can soups containing noodles, rice and pasta. The problem is that with home pressure canners we can not get the heat penetration into thick soups containing noodles, rice and pasta to ensure a safe product. Food manufacturers are able to do so with high temperature/pressure retort sterilization machines, but we do not have the capability for doing some foods, like chicken noodles soup, safely at home.

Canning processes are determined for specific foods prepared by specific directions for a particular size of jar. The process time is determined based upon the length of time it takes to adequately heat the coldest spot on the jar. The following factors have an effect on how heat penetrates through the food product:

How the food is prepared - the size of pieces, with or without the peel

The canning liquid consistency

Jar size

That is why it is so important to use a reputable, tested recipe and follow directions exactly. If you add extra sugar or fat, if you do not prepare the food according to the directions, or if you add thickeners like starch, rice or noodles, then the process time tested as being accurate to heat even the coldest spot in the jar may not be safe.


Again, the choice is yours. 

FWIW, I grew up on a farm where my Mom used the canning methods taught to her by my Grandmother. Everything was water bath canned. On the one hand, we didn't get sick from her canning. On the other hand, I wonder how many times we ate food in which botulism toxin was neutralized because my Mom demanded that every canned food had to be held at a full rolling boil for 10 minutes before consuming it. 

With regards to that, I can't see the point of adding noodles/pasta to a jar and then needing to boil it for the approximate time it takes to cook noodles to add to a finished dish.

I'm sorry, if this comes off like a rant. It's because I remember when a family of 4 died from botulism, not far from us, when I was young. My main concern is with those new to canning, who may not know the risks involved with not following current guidelines. Once they know the guidelines, then, it's their choice as to how much risk they are willing to take with canned foods to feed their families.


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