Before I moved to North Carolina I didn’t know a whole lot of the specifics around home food preservation. I had never pickled, canned, or done anything preserve-y. My parents use to have a pickling party around Labour Day every year (the ‘u’ is in there because I lived in Canada then) but I never really got into it. In the past two years I’ve become a lot more involved with preservation stuff as the close to 100 extension agents across the state to whom I provide technical food safety support spend a pretty good chunk of their time teaching and answering questions about pickling, pressure canning and the likes.
I jumped into pickling last year and pressure canning this year so beyond the science aspect I have an idea of the practices – what’s tough and what might go wrong. Preservation is a bit like baking where recipes, ratios and processing times are important to create a final product that’s not going to paralyze or kill someone. Follow the rules and everything should be okay.
AP reports that something went wrong in the Chicago area and now a few folks are suffering from salmonellosis: