Don't Give Food Poisoning In Your Gift Basket - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Don't Give Food Poisoning In Your Gift Basket

Throughout December, many people exchange homemade treats and other goodies as gifts.  But if you're not careful, you could be giving your loved ones food poisoning.  

Canning is a year-round tradition for Delores Tucker.

"There's been canning in my family all my life," she said.

But even after 20 years of canning jams, fruits, and vegetables, she still uses some instructions to make sure the food is properly sealed in, and the bacteria is sealed out.

"It tells you how many minutes each fruit and vegetable is supposed to be water-bathed or pressure-cooked," she said.

Jars containing pre-cooked items need a boiling water bath to kill off the spores that produce toxic botulism -- a food poison that could be deadly.  Pressure cooking is often the method for fresh items.  A study from the University of Tennessee says this is the only safe way to can low-acid foods, like green beans and carrots.  But before you even get the food in the jars, Tucker has pertinent advice.

"Just make sure your jars are clean and your fruit's clean," she said.

If you're on the receiving end of any home-canned gifts, make sure you know what to look for.  If there's any portion of the food that's sticking up out of the liquid, or if it's discolored, it's probably not safe.  Also, listen for the pop when you open it.

"When you open that jar, if it don't open like it's been sealed good, throw it away.  Don't even take a chance on eating it," Tucker said.

Now's the time of year when lots of first-time canners try their hand at it, but remember -- canning is a science, not an art.  Make sure you know what you're doing.

"I would get me a book and I would set down and study it.  Even I go over to my book once in a while to refresh myself on how things are done," Tucker said.

Homemade goods that are properly sealed can have a shelf life of about two years.  If you have concerns over items in your gift basket, or if you need help canning correctly, you can use this link.

You can also learn more about proper and incorrect canning methods here.

  • News HeadlinesNewsMore>>

  • Trump's new message man deletes inconvenient tweets

    Trump's new message man deletes inconvenient tweets

    Saturday, July 22 2017 4:20 PM EDT2017-07-22 20:20:31 GMT
    Monday, July 24 2017 10:08 AM EDT2017-07-24 14:08:28 GMT

    One of Anthony Scaramucci's first acts after accepting President Donald Trump's offer to be the new White House communications director was to apologize to Trump.

    One of Anthony Scaramucci's first acts after accepting President Donald Trump's offer to be the new White House communications director was to apologize to Trump.

  • New jobs numbers for North Texas

    New jobs numbers for North Texas

    Monday, July 24 2017 8:41 AM EDT2017-07-24 12:41:32 GMT
    (Source: Workforce Solutions North Texas)(Source: Workforce Solutions North Texas)

    New jobs numbers indicate that the North Texas and Lone Star State economy is healthier than ever.

    New jobs numbers indicate that the North Texas and Lone Star State economy is healthier than ever.

  • Baby Charlie protesters rally as hospital reports threats

    Baby Charlie protesters rally as hospital reports threats

    Sunday, July 23 2017 4:00 AM EDT2017-07-23 08:00:44 GMT
    Monday, July 24 2017 8:09 AM EDT2017-07-24 12:09:00 GMT

    Activists supporting the baby's parents will gather Sunday outside the High Court in London where legal proceedings will resume Monday with new medical evidence expected.

    Activists supporting the baby's parents will gather Sunday outside the High Court in London where legal proceedings will resume Monday with new medical evidence expected.

Powered by Frankly