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Old 28-02-2016, 19:14   #1
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Thumbs up Canning your own meats and shelf life in Tropics

Hey Y'all,
So Im learning about how to can meats. My question is how long does the jarred canned meats last in the tropics, temps 85-110 degrees Fahrenheit?
Thanks
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Old 28-02-2016, 20:57   #2
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Re: Canning your own meats and shelf life in Tropics

How long will a can of tuna or pork and beans from a store last in them same conditions. Properly canned stores last just as long as the store bought stuff and taste much better.
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Old 29-02-2016, 01:04   #3
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Re: Canning your own meats and shelf life in Tropics

As long as the can/jar stays sealed it shouldn't make a difference on the life of canned foods no matter where it's stored. Believe the suggested storage life of canned foods has more to do with loss of flavor than safety.

My wife canned fish that we caught in the first part of our cruise. We finished it off before a year had passed so will guarantee it for that long.
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Old 29-02-2016, 01:39   #4
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Re: Canning your own meats and shelf life in Tropics

Careful with doing this. A serious mistake canning your own food is fatal.
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Old 29-02-2016, 01:53   #5
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Re: Canning your own meats and shelf life in Tropics

We have eaten our canned meat after 3 to 4 years and it is ok.
Bob
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Old 29-02-2016, 02:02   #6
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Re: Canning your own meats and shelf life in Tropics

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Originally Posted by svadagio View Post
We have eaten our canned meat after 3 to 4 years and it is ok.
Bob
That means you canned it appropriately and safely.

Ive eaten spam that was five years old, but you wont find the fatal bacterium botulism in spam. You can find it in home canned produce.
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Old 29-02-2016, 08:59   #7
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Re: Canning your own meats and shelf life in Tropics

Cruising, like many other "increased-risk" activities, is all about maintaining your margins of safety. If you're studious, experienced, and can your goods correctly, you'll probably be fine. Otherwise, stick to store-bought canned goods.

About those margins of safety:
A case of botulin-poisoning is deadly unless you're near a hospital that can correctly identify and treat it quickly. If you're going to be more than a few hours from a hospital like that, you lose one margin of safety. If you can your own goods, but don't carefully follow standard procedures for sanitizing your gear and preparing the food, you've removed another margin of safety. If you can certain types of food that represent a higher risk for causing botulin-poisoning, you've removed another safety margin. Etc.
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Old 29-02-2016, 09:00   #8
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Re: Canning your own meats and shelf life in Tropics

We have canned our own meats for years but usually use these up in a passage of thirty days. There's no reason they wouldn't last longer.

Now that we have a relatively large freezer capacity, we have largely given up the practice. We built a smoker box that fits on the cabin top over the cabin heater smoke stack and lightly smoke and can the excess fish we catch. We prefer the smaller jars and slip sections of motorcycle inner tubes over these to help protect them.
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Old 29-02-2016, 09:09   #9
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Re: Canning your own meats and shelf life in Tropics

I don't can myself (yet) but belong to a FB group "Pressure Cooking on Boats". It's a very active site and there are many articles about safety under "files" on the top banner. You can also pose this question there as many of them have done it for years.
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Old 29-02-2016, 09:47   #10
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Re: Canning your own meats and shelf life in Tropics

Since eating (home) canned food once made me horribly sick, I stay away from it just to be on the safe side. Bad memories don't do much for my apatite ...

I do ferment a lot of food, which, when done properly, will keep anywhere from a couple of months to a year when stored in a cooler, dark place. It's also much less work then canning food, which I like cos I'm lazy

Fermented foods don't last half as long as canned food, but unless you're on a non-stop circumnavigation, all you really need is a couple of weeks which is easy peasy with fermented foods. And they're not only very jummy, but also very healthy

Having said that, I believe there are some store bought cans of whatever meals lying around in a few forgotten corners of my boat. I doubt that stuff ever goes bad.
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Old 29-02-2016, 09:51   #11
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Re: Canning your own meats and shelf life in Tropics

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Originally Posted by murelyn View Post
Hey Y'all,
So Im learning about how to can meats. My question is how long does the jarred canned meats last in the tropics, temps 85-110 degrees Fahrenheit?
Thanks
According to the University of Minnesota Extension Service:
Storing Canned Food : Storage : Preserving and Preparing : Food Safety : Food : University of Minnesota Extension

Storing Canned Food
Jan Rasmussen, Extension Educator Revised 2011 by author; reviewed May, 2014 by Kathy Brandt, Extension Educator — Food Safety.

There are limits to how long food quality can be preserved. Why? Several factors limit the shelf-life of canned foods.
  • Cans or metal lids on glass jars can rust. When rust is deep enough, tiny holes open in the can or lid that may let spoilage agents in.
  • Shipping accidents that dent or crush cans cause problems.
  • Can corrosion. Food reacts chemically with the metal container, especially high-acid food like canned tomatoes and fruit juices. Over several years, this causes taste and texture changes. It eventually lowers the nutritional value of the food.
  • Temperatures over 100 degrees Fahrenheit are harmful to canned foods. The risk of spoilage jumps sharply as storage temperatures rise.
  • At prolonged storage temperatures above 75 degrees, nutrient loss in canned foods increases.
  • Light can cause color changes and nutrient losses in foods canned in glass jars.
  • Never use foods from containers with these spoilage warning signs: loose or bulging lids on jars; bulging, leaking or badly dented cans (especially along the top, side and bottom seams), or foods with a foul odor.

To store canned food wisely, follow these guidelines:
  • Temperatures over 100 degrees Fahrenheit are harmful to canned foods. Store in a cool, clean, dry place where temperatures are below 85 degrees between 50-70 degrees is good) but not freezing temperatures.
  • Rotate foods so the oldest is used first.
  • Try not to keep canned foods more than one year.
  • Use canned meats and seafood within 12 months.
  • Use low-acid canned foods within 8-12 months.
  • Use high-acid foods within 12 to 18 months.
  • Foods stored longer will be safe to eat if the cans show no signs of spoilage or damage but may deteriorate in color, flavor and nutritive value.
  • Canned fruit juices can be stored up to 3 years.


The Ball Blue Book Guide to Home Canning and Freezing is a time tested source. I've home-canned for years, but not yet on the boat. There are other threads on this forum that have discussed the topic. Stay safe!

Best of Luck!
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Old 29-02-2016, 10:00   #12
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Re: Canning your own meats and shelf life in Tropics

Any such thing as self help for botulism if so unlucky to be without chance of medical care?
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Old 29-02-2016, 10:07   #13
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Re: Canning your own meats and shelf life in Tropics

We still pressure can sockeye salmon in 1/2 pint and pint jars, only problem is they do not last long enough to spoil. Takes almost 3 hrs per batch. The secret is keeping the canner at an even temperature. Have even done them outside over a Coleman camp stove. One small jar, one meal for two elderly people, with home made fries.

My mother, used the old wet bath method to can our old laying hens in quart sealers for years, they lasted till the next fall.

Just keep the product in a dark cool storage area. I have also heard that eggs will last longer if stored (below) the water line. Don't know how true that is though.

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Old 29-02-2016, 10:32   #14
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Re: Canning your own meats and shelf life in Tropics

Don't be scared off by home canning. It is simple and safe if done right. If you can make brownies from a box, you can safely preserve good tasting, healthy food.

The USDA has quite a bit of information on "canning" free for the down load, National Center for Home Food Preservation | USDA Publications.

A problem with foods that are canned in metal is that the metal can, can and does rust. One CAN get sick from food in CANS because the CANS rust through. Food "canned" in glass only have the lid that can rust through which would be easier to see and prevent.

The US CDC says this about botulism:
Quote:
How common is botulism?

In the United States, an average of 145 cases are reported each year.Of these, approximately 15% are foodborne, 65% are infant botulism, and 20% are wound. Adult intestinal colonization and iatrogenic botulism also occur, but rarely. Outbreaks of foodborne botulism involving two or more persons occur most years and are usually caused by home-canned foods. Most wound botulism cases are associated with black-tar heroin injection, especially in California.
So there are around 22 botulism cases in the US each year, most, but not all are from home preserved foods. Most cases are wound related. Notice this says cases and does not mention deaths.

I follow the guidelines posted above and I think they are more than conservative in the times needed to safely preserve food. Here is why.

Lets say I am preserving soup. I cook two gallons of soup until it is ready to eat. This means the soup has been simmering for 2-3 hours. BOILED that is. I then sterilize one quart jars, lids and rings in boiling water. The boiling soup goes into the sterilized jars which are sealed and put into a pressure cooker.

I use the water that was heated to sterilize the jars in the pressure cooker to speed up the time it takes to get the jars up to pressure. Even so this takes at least 30 minutes. For my soups, in quart jars, the instructions say to cook at the required pressure for 45-55 minutes, if my memory is correct.

After the time is up, you have to let the pressure cooker cool off and depressurize. You DO NOT just release the pressure since that can't break the seal on the jars that were just sealed and preserved. The cool down period takes at least 30 minutes. However, cool down is relative. I can see the contents of the jar BOILING for at least another 30-60 minutes after being taken out of the pressure cooker.

At this point, you have preserved food that has been cooked for HOURS:
  • Food cooked ready to eat 2-3 hours.
  • Packed in boiling hot jars waiting to pressurize, at least 30 minutes.
  • Cooking at pressure, 45-55 minutes.
  • Cool down in pressure cooker at least 30 minutes.
  • Cool down outside of pressure cooker 30-60 minutes.
The reality is that the commercial meats and soups in the store are full of salt and other not so good for you stuff. I can't stand to eat store bought soup because there is so much salt that it tastes horrible. I don't think salt is a huge evil, but if you eat a can of soup and then have to drink cups of water to end your thirst because of the salt content, there is a clue.


Food poising in the US per the CDC, http://www.cdc.gov/features/foodborne-diseases-data/:
Quote:
Main Findings

  • In 2013, 818 foodborne disease outbreaks were reported, resulting in 13,360 illnesses, 1,062 hospitalizations, 16 deaths, and 14 food recalls.
  • Outbreaks caused by Salmonella increased 39% from 2012 (113) to 2013 (157). Outbreak-associated hospitalizations caused by Salmonella increased 38% from 2012 (454) to 2013 (628).
  • Fish (50 outbreaks), mollusks (23), chicken (21), and dairy (21), with 17 due to unpasteurized dairy products) were the most common single food categories implicated in outbreaks.
  • The most common causes of outbreaks were norovirus (35% of reported outbreaks) and Salmonella (34% of reported outbreaks).
Setting of Outbreaks

Among the outbreaks with a single known food preparation setting, foods were prepared most- commonly at or by:
  • Restaurants, specifically sit-down dining style restaurants: 60% of outbreaks
  • Caterers or banquet facilities: 14% of outbreaks
  • Homes: 12% of outbreaks
Not one death was report from botulism which I find odd because you would think SOMEONE died from it. Botulism is only supposed to kill 3-5% of those infected but even with that low rate one would expect some deaths. Glad there are none reported but it seems odd. Nor is botulism mentioned under the causes for hospitalizations which was mostly from Salmonella, followed by Hepatitis A, and E-Coli.
Quote:
  • Deaths
    • Listeria in dairy (3 deaths)
    • Escherichia coli, Shiga toxin-producing in vegetable row crops (1 death)
    • Norovirus in fruits (1 death)
    • Salmonella in fruits (1 death)
    • Salmonella in nuts and seeds (1 death)
    • Vibrio cholerae in mollusks (1 death)
I am far safer eating our home preserved food than eating a chicken salad and ice cream at some chain eatery..... Though the odds of us getting sick at a chain are still very low.

Later,
Dan
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Old 29-02-2016, 11:20   #15
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Re: Canning your own meats and shelf life in Tropics

"Food "canned" in glass only have the lid that can rust through which would be easier to see and prevent."

We used glass lids on our sealers with rubber ring seals. Have used metal, but try to keep contents a bit lower so as not to touch lid.

Ted
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