Ask a Question
Notify Me On Question Update
Email this Question
I grew up eating green beans which were pressure-canned at home. When my mother heated them for a meal, she brought them to a boil then removed the lid and let them boil for at least a minute with the lid off. She said this was necessary to be safe. Is it necessary or was that just something passed down from before pressure canning was available?
Rate This FAQ
Thanks for your great question! If you are canning green beans today and you pressure can them correctly (for Utah County altitude, you need to process them at 13 lbs pressure if using a dial-gauge canner or 15 lbs pressure if using a weighted gauge canner), any microorganisms that may have existed in the jar will have been destroyed by the heat of the processing. With a low-acid product like green-beans, the microorganism we are most concerned with is the C. botulinum spore. If this spore (which is around us, in the air, in the soil, etc.) is placed in a low-acid, moist environment with no oxygen (which is exactly what we do when we can green beans), it can develop a toxin that is deadly. In order to destroy to botulism spore, we need to heat the contents of the jar to an internal temperature of 240 degrees F. The only way to do that is with a Pressure Canner, which uses the pressure to increase temperature beyond boiling point (212 degrees F) of water. As long as the contents of the jar have been processed correctly - at 13lbs or 15lbs pressure for 20 minutes in pints or 25 minutes in quarts, then you should be able to open up that jar of beans and eat them straight out of the jar without any negative effect.
In other words, the contents of the jar do not need to be boiled prior to consuming. If you don't know how long it was processed, or are concerned it might not have been long enough, then you could go ahead and boil the contents (full rolling boil) for about 10-15 minutes prior to consuming. This doesn't help in every situation, but can render the botulism spore inactive for a period of time and help you feel sure that it is safe to eat.
One other motto to consider: When in doubt, throw it out!
Please let me know if you have further questions related to canning or food safety! I'd be happy to answer them for you!
Submit Your Suggestion
Other Questions In This Topic
- Can you use canned food such as soups and vegetables past their use by date and if so how far past can you use them. How long does home canned fruits keep their nutional value?
- When and where do I go to have my pressure canner checked? How often should it be checked?
- Where should I put my food storage?
- I am trying to use flour that has been stores for about 30 years. It looks ok and tastes like flour but I have baked two loaves and they will not raise. they taste ok but how nutritional would they be?
- I've read that dry pack food storage products expire within x amount of years depending on the product. My parents purchased a LARGE quantity (over 100 cases of #10 cans) of assorted dry pack 28 years ago from Desert Supply Company; wheat, cornmeal, powdered milk, eggs, instant potatoes etc. I'm having a hard time coming to terms with throwing it all out. Can you please confirm that this is wasted product or is there anything salvagable.. and if so for how much longer would it be good? It has been stored in a dry/dark cool basement.
- Do weevil turn into moths? If not where would moths come from in my food storage room? and how do you get rid of them?
- Can I store wheat, sugar, flour or other products purchased in 25 pound bags in a rubbermaid container? I am looking for space efficient ways to store bulk grains and legumes.
- I just inherited a pressure canner. It's pretty well used and I'm a little nervous about using it. I've never done pressure canning before. Is there a place where I can get it checked out for safety, and how do I learn how to use it.