The botulism is a serious form of intoxication caused by the ingestion of the toxin produced by a bacterium, theClostridium botulinum (botulinum), the same toxin isolated and used in cosmetics (botulinum toxin).
Botulism and homemade preserves
Preserves prepared at home can be contaminated with the bacteriumClostridium botulinumand trigger intoxication bybotulinum. To reduce the risks ofbotulism, when preparing canned food, it is good to follow some precautions: the Istituto Superiore di Sanità, through theNational reference center for thebotulism, has published guidelines for the correct preparation of canned food in the home.
Follow the guidelines issued byHigher Institute of Healthallows you to implement a kind ofpreventiondesigned to minimize the risks ofbotulismrelated to the production ofhomemade preserves.
Botulism and preserves:
vegetable preserves are all those food preparations (jams, jams, pickles, in oil ...) packaged in airtight containers that undergo treatments to stabilize storage for long periods at room temperature. Here are the rules to follow to avoid taking risks:
- Personal hygiene and work environment
Good personal hygiene and work environment practices must be respected. The first source of contamination, in fact, is dictated by these two factors. It seems trivial but the risks ofbotulismincrease precisely because before starting with the preparation of thepreservesdo not wash their hands! When to wash your hands
- whenever you change the type of preparation
- whenever your hands appear visibly dirty
- after being in the bathroom
-after coughing or sneezing
- after handling raw food, pets or waste
- Sterilization of jars
To prepare homemade preserves, theglassit is the best material, although metal containers can be used. Glass is able to absorb odors, can be reused countless times and is easily washed andsterilized.
When using classic glass jars, the cap must always be replaced (due to the seals) and, given the transparency of the jar, it must then be stored in a place protected from light. To best prepare glass jars, we recommend that you read our guideHow to sterilize glass jars.
- Choice of ingredients
The choice of ingredients should not be underestimated, often thebotulismit is linked precisely to the low quality of the raw material. Those who prepare preserves with vegetables from their own garden can avoid any risk, in this case, it is advisable to start the transformation of the product within 6 or 12 hours of harvesting. For pickled preserves, use white wine vinegar. For those in oil, the oil must be of the highest quality, in fact the use of extra virgin olive oil is recommended.