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Canning Lard- Botulism worries?  RSS feed

Posts: 67
Location: Mille Lacs, MN
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I have been raising and processing American Guinea Hogs, a very high fat % pig. To make the most of it, we render the lard in a large pot over a burner.
After a couple hours, we ladel the liquid lard in to mason jars and seal them.

That's all.

After just reading about some bad potato salad killing someone in the midwest (with botulism)- I got to thinking (worrying)- am I giving people lard that is unsafely preserved?

I assume this is a low-acid product, so is there a high potential for botulism?

How do y'all do it?
Posts: 2079
Location: Central Oklahoma (zone 7a)
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The heat of your rendering process should kill your botulism organisms if present, so the risk would lie in recontaminating the lard while putting it in the jars. If you hot-packed your jars before the lard got cool enough for botulism organisms to survive, I think even that slight risk would go away.

It's worth remembering, too, that cooking destroys the botulism toxin. Since most people cook with lard instead of eating it straight out of the jar cold, that's another factor that diminishes the risk. (It's a different story for canned meats, which are more likely to be eaten without further cooking.)

I got curious and did some Google searching. In the first few pages of results I didn't find any confirmed references to people suffering botulism poisoning from eating lard, although I found many concerned do-it-yourselfers repeating (conflicting and vague) inherited legends and received wisdoms on the subject.

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