Food Safety Issues/Home Canned Salmon

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Question
I do a lot of pressure canning and understand that even following direction botulism is a possibility therefore the vegetables need to be cooked again after opening the jars for 10-16 minutes at boiling in an open pot.  I could find nothing about canned meats after opening.  My friends eat home canned salmon right from the jar for sandwiches and salads.  Is this safe?  In cooking after the jars are open is bringing the fish to the temperature recommended for when cooking raw fish sufficient in either the oven or stove top without boiling as with vegetables? I have a lot of fresh salmon and need to know how to process it and safety of eating it.  Thank you so much for your time.

Answer
Hi Suzy,

If a food with a pH of 4.6 or higher is processed properly using a pressure canner, it is not necessary to boil the contents for 10 minutes when opened.  The 10 minute boil recommendation was put in place to be a safeguard if any jars might not have been processed properly.

All low-acid foods canned according to the approved recommendations may be eaten without boiling them when you are sure of all the following:

1. Food was processed in a pressure canner.
2. Gauge of the pressure canner was accurate.
3. Up-to-date researched process times and pressures were used for the size of jar, style of pack, and kind of food being canned.
4. The process time and pressure recommended for sterilizing the food at your altitude was followed.
5. Jar lid is firmly sealed and concave.
6. Nothing has leaked from jar.
7. No liquid spurts out when jar is opened.
8. No unnatural or “off” odors can be detected.

So yes it is safe to consume home-canned salmon directly from the jar IF all 8 of the above points are followed. If you are unsure if all 8 have been followed, then the recommendation is to boil the food for 10 minutes before consuming.

For research-based information on how to safely can fish in a quart jar, please see: http://nchfp.uga.edu/how/can_05/alaska_can_fish_qtjars.pdf

For pint jars, please see: http://nchfp.uga.edu/how/can_05/fish.html

Carol

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Carol Schlitt

Expertise

I can answer questions on home food safety, sanitation and home food preservation.

Experience

I am a former Extension educator, nutrition, wellness and food safety, having retired August 1, 2010. I am a food safety instructor for the Illinois Department of Public Health, a ServSafe Instructor/Proctor and have my own company, Safe & Savory Solutions, Inc - www.safeandsavorysolution.com

Organizations
National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (Past President and current Historian), St. Louis Culinary Society.

Education/Credentials
BS - University of Illinois MS - Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville

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