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Home canning has been regaining popularity in Canada and, increasingly, canned goods are being consumed in the home and sold in retail food establishments. However, consuming improperly home-canned foods can cause illness. There have been many reports of foodborne illness and outbreaks associated with improperly home-canned food caused by spore-forming bacteria. To reduce the risk of illness, proper preparation and handling is critical.
This presentation will provide information on outbreaks and illnesses associated with improperly produced home-canned products, the science of home canning, and the validation process for assessing the safety of home-canned recipes. It will also provide a summary of the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs’ baseline study findings for the safety of Ontario-produced home-canned products.
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Presenters: Dr. Robert Blenkinsop and Naghmeh Parto
Dr. Robert Blenkinsop is the horticulture food scientist in the Food Inspection Branch of the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) and is currently acting manager of the Food Safety Science Unit. In his role as a food scientist, Robert provides scientific and technical support to a wide range of ministry projects relating to the safety of foods of plant origin. He leads the development and implementation of a variety of scientific studies assessing food safety risks at both the farm and processor level.
Prior to joining OMAFRA in 2007, Robert worked as an R&D scientist for a global food manufacturer. During that time, he led a number of North American product and process development initiatives, including the successful launches of innovative retail meal solutions and an award-winning food service entrée. Robert holds a doctorate in food science from the University of Guelph.
Naghmeh Parto is a senior program specialist on the Environmental and Occupational Health team at Public Health Ontario (PHO). She is the author of PHO’s Home Canning document. Prior to joining PHO, Naghmeh worked in the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care as a senior program consultant. Naghmeh has a master of science in food safety and quality assurance from the University of Guelph.
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