Adherence of Food Blog Salsa Recipes to Home Canning Guidelines
Increased consumer interest in home food preservation, the popularity of home canning of salsa and the emergence of food blogs as an easily accessible source for recipes have created concerns about the safety of food preserved according to home canning recipes on food blogs. This research examines the adherence of canned salsa recipes on food blogs to recommended home canning guidelines. A tool based on the USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning for Acidified Foods was used by four raters to examine 56 blog posts on home canning of salsa from 43 food blogs. Adherence to guidance in the categories of acidification, thermal processing, contaminants and vacuum sealing were the variables measured. The majority of these guidelines were not included in food blog recipes (average 70% across all categories), representing a significant lack of adherence. Of particular concern, the majority of foods prepared according to the recipes evaluated were insufficiently acidified (91%), and very few recipes (14%) provided information regarding necessary adjustments for altitude. Food blog writers have the opportunity to provide recommended home canning guidelines or links to USDA resources that would enable their followers to reduce risk. Outreach efforts targeting digital influencers, including a recipe style guide for home canning, may expand reach and application of research-based home canning methods.
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