Debunking the Botulism Fear

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Re: Debunking the Botulism Fear

Postby MikeinHalifax on Fri Feb 20, 2015 5:49 pm

This is a very interesting read - thank you! I heard many horror stories about canning with garlic or packing it in oil. Makes complete sense what went wrong. I'm inspired now to ferment garlic cloves with confidence!

Thanks again,
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Re: Debunking the Botulism Fear

Postby Tiemu on Tue Jul 21, 2015 1:04 am

Maybe I should be wary about the mushrooms I fried and then stored in a jar of olive oil which I didn't then sterilise with 20 minutes of boiling? I skipped the last step because electricity prices are so high in Australia I avoid it whenever possible. Rather than wait a month fearing botulism growth I think I'll just eat it ASAP.

People generally see all preserved food as being the same thing regardless of whether it's been canned, fermented, preserved in salt, preserved in vinegar etc. I'm new to preserving and this is starting to sink in: salt, vinegar or ferment = good. Unsalty, non-acidic, non-fermented, or non-boiled = risky.
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Re: Debunking the Botulism Fear

Postby Durgan on Wed Jan 20, 2016 4:26 am

I Pressure Can around five hundred liters of all types of produce, fruit and vegetables for long term (8 months max) at room temperature. I use two to three liters of mixed per day and never has a jar been even slightly spoiled. At present time I want to ferment to determine if it has practical application for long term storage. Journal of all my efforts.

Here is an example of my method.
24 August 2015 Tomato Juice
Posted on August 24, 2015 by Durgan ... /index.htm 24 August 2015 Tomato Juice
Forty pounds of tomatoes were made into 14 liters of juice. No water was added.Some available basil, egg plant and sweet pepper was used.Tomatoes were washed, quartered, cooked until soft, hand blended into a slurry, strained, then pressure canned at 15 PSI for 15 minutes.Pictures depict the process.
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Re: Debunking the Botulism Fear

Postby gardener on Sat Oct 22, 2016 9:45 pm

I wanted to add to this conversation because I came across another CDC report of botulism from fermented tofu. This is not the case that involved tofu that had been boiled, fermented, marinated in chicken broth.

I'll let you read it yourselves, but here is an excerpt.

Patient 1's wife and patient 2 had emigrated from the same locality in Jiangxi Province, China, to the United States within the previous 2 years. Both resided in Queens, but they did not know each other. They reported purchasing fresh bulk tofu in January 2012 at the same Chinese grocery in Queens. Patient 1's wife cubed the tofu and placed it in a plastic container in layers separated by heavy paper. She covered the container with a nonairtight lid and allowed the contents to ferment at room temperature for 1 week. She next added chili pepper and salt, transferred the tofu to a glass jar, and stored it in the refrigerator for 3 weeks before consumption. Patient 2 placed blocks of tofu in a colander covered with plastic wrap and kept it at room temperature for 7–10 days. She then added salt, dried chili pepper, and orange peel, and stored the fermented tofu in glass jars in the refrigerator. The fermented tofu was not heated before consumption in either case.

It has been nearly 39 years since I fermented tofu, but I think I did it similar to how these were done, plus at some point there was a step of letting cubes of tofu it develop a red microbial coating on skewers in the open air! It was later mixed with ginko nuts and chilis and some other things. We kept it in the fridge and it was used as a cooking condiment.
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