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Pressure canning bacon

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  • Pressure canning bacon

    (Posted on behalf of Susan) I Am not sure who to direct this question to, maybe you can forward it to the person who can give me the answer. A lot is going around right now about canning bacon by rolling raw or cooked bacon in parchment paper (I think that is what it is called) putting it in quart jars with no liquid and pressure canning it at 15 lbs for 90 min. Is this safe to do and store in a cold storage room for am extended period of time? Thank you for your time. Susan
    Dr. Brian Nummer, PhD
    USU Extension Food Safety Specialist

  • #2
    This practice is NOT recommended . The possible reasoning behind this advice is that bacon has nitrites in it that prevent the growth of C. botulinum (the botulism microorganism). Therefore "canning it" would somehow preserve it and make it safe to eat. However, there are many holes in that reasoning. 1. The advice is NOT research based. No one has actually studied the process to determine if indeed it is safe from foodborne illness. 2. There is no mention of "bacon" with nitrites (cured bacon). If people think its safe, they may try other processed meats. None have been research tested and all may result in botulism . 3. Canning something "dry" will NOT generate enough heat to make things safe. Heat is transferred by water. In a pressure canner steam heats the water inside a canned food transferring that heat to the food. A temperature of 240-250oF for 30-120 minutes is needed to make a pressure canned food safe (via a research-tested process). Without water the temperature the bacon reaches will not be enough to destroy the botulism organism !

    Here is an approved alternative: http://nchfp.uga.edu/how/can_05/strips_cubes_chunks.html
    Note that it REQUIRES a brine of meat juices, stock, water, tomato juice or similar. This is a research tested recipe from the USDA Complete Guide to Canning.
    Dr. Brian Nummer, PhD
    USU Extension Food Safety Specialist

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