All across the country, people are stocking up on all-important food storage. It’s a smart decision, the economy is showing signs of destabilization and the powers that keep pulling strings that ultimately put all of us in danger.
If you’re like most of my readers you’ve probably tried to take advantage of DIY food storage projects. I highly recommend these projects. For one, it’s a blast to take food and transform it into a long-lasting survival tool. And secondly it’s an affordable option for preparing for the worst.
There is one problem with these projects though. When you’re doing your own canning or bottling it can actually prove deadly. That’s because self-canning and bottling poses a distinct risk of introducing deadly bacteria capable of killing you. If you have any homemade food storage take a minute to read over this list so you can check and see if any of your food storage has gone bad.
6 Signs Your Food Storage Wants to Kill You
The most dangerous agent in canning and bottling is a toxin produced by the bacteria Clostridium botulinum. You’ve likely heard of the toxin, botulism, and it’s extremely deadly.
Now just to make things clear. Even if you boil your food and pack it as tight as possible and leave zero-oxygen for it to breath there’s still a possibility of this toxin developing. The reason why is the bacteria that causes botulism thrives in environments where oxygen is absent. You can’t kill it by boiling either which makes it very difficult to eradicate entirely.
Tim Hall writes:
C. botulinum prefers an anaerobic (oxygen-free) environment that’s not too acidic, not too salty, not too crowded with other bacteria, and it does especially well at warm temperatures. A unique characteristic of C. botulinum is it’s ability to survive high temperatures for relatively long periods of time.
So that means you need to watch anything you make to ensure it isn’t going to deal you sickness or death upon enjoyment. Be on the lookout for the following signs.
A bulging lid
This is generally the most common sign something’s going on inside of your canned/bottled food. The reason this has happened likely has to do with your failure to kill all of the bacteria before bottling/canning. Basically you didn’t get it hot enough for long enough. If you see the lid bulging in any way, or any other part of the can bulging you’ll want to toss that food.
A loud hiss or prominent “de-presurrization” when you open it
If you hear a hiss or notice a prominent change in pressure when you open survival food you might have just stumbled upon a very good sign your food is spoiled. This sound will be much louder or more noticeable than the standard “pop” you notice when you open canned goods. That pressure you’re releasing is likely caused by anaerobic bacteria. That pressure is the byproduct of their activity in the jar/can. It’s also the same pressure that causes the lid to bulge.
You see bubbles before you open it
Obvious bubbles present in your food are a solid indication there is some kind of bacterial activity going on in the food you packaged. Be careful if you see they’ve accumulated in any capacity. Another thing to look for is any kind of visible foam on the food. This is a big concern for both meats and low-acid foods such as green beans, beets and corn. To avoid the appearance of bubbles and foam makes sure to pressure-can all of your food.
It looks or smells off
The food you’re about to enjoy should smell and look almost identical to what it looked like when you packed it. If you notice the smell is rancid, or the food looks cloudy, that’s a clear sign something is going on there bacterially.
You should never just assume a change in color or smell is just part of the process of packing long-term food storage. It’s not, and if you try to eat the food it’s going to end up being pretty bad for you.
The lid shows signs it didn’t seal
If you take your canned food and push the lid in and it responds by popping back up then you didn’t actually seal the food appropriately. So basically you stored the food without giving it a proper seal.
There’s no reason to try and enjoy this food as it could have been sitting there for months, even years, creating a toxic environment for bacteria and pathogens to grow.
Any signs of mold
If you notice mold of any sort then that’s a sign too a good seal wasn’t made. Even if the mold is only on the top of the lid and not on the good itself you can be confident the food is in some way contaminated.
All of these signs are what you need to pay attention to when you’re making our own long-term food storage. Some other things you can do to help avoid this is getting dehydrated or freeze-dried foods. These foods are amazing because they’re lightweight, long-lasting, and you don’t have to worry about them becoming infested with deadly bacteria.