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botulism in canning: is it all about pH?

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botulism in canning: is it all about pH?

Gooseberry | Jan 5, 2009 08:00 AM

I've researched all the posts on this board and some government sites about the risk of botulism when canning (or to be more accurate, jarring) at home. I want to follow my own tomato pasta sauce recipe, not one from a cookbook or website, which I know is considered a no-no. But if botulism cannot reproduce at a pH below 4.5, why don't I just make my pasta sauce, and test its pH with a small chemistry kit (close friend is a microbiologist, and is willing to lend me the necessary stuff), and if it's below 4.5, go ahead and waterbath it and assume it will be fine?

Or am I missing some other key bit of information here, and oversimplifying by focusing on the pH?

Thoughts from food scientists and other knowledgeable cooks welcome!

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