Science Questions

How can we store and preserve food safely?

Sun, 25th Sep 2011

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Question

Rebecca Severin, Facebook asked:

With regard to home canning, you follow a recipe to make sure it’s safe, but if I wanted to make my own salsa for example, is there a way you can make sure you're always doing it safely and can you test it to make sure that you haven’t done something that might make you unwell?

Answer

Nick -   Most of the way that we ensure that food is safe in this respect is to make sure that the process that we go through is appropriate, so that we’ve cooked things for the appropriate time or we’ve added the right ingredients or that it’s reached the right temperature, for example.  And then afterwards, once we’ve preserved it, we should make sure that it appears as it should do. So for tinning for example, if the tin is blown or damaged in any other way, then clearly the product inside it might be inappropriate to eat.  It's the same with jams and other preserves, if they clearly do not look or taste right then something might be wrong.

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