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Most food safety is common sense: for example, if you drop a jar on the floor and it shatters, don’t scrape up the preserve and tuck in! But some dangers are less obvious, so err on the side of caution (especially when feeding children, the elderly or vulnerable people):

  • Do clean your work surfaces and tools before you start a task and shoo dogs and cats well out of the way. Raw meat, pets and mud can cause cross-contamination and subsequent food hazards.

  • Don’t use corrosive materials for any part of your preserving: no aluminium, enamel or ferrous pans (especially dangerous with vinegar or salt).

  • Don’t use the contents of jars of preserve when the seal is already broken, the lid indent has ‘popped’ or the produce is dried out, mouldy, smelly or discoloured. If you’re suspicious about the quality in any way, throw it away (the most dangerous organisms are invisible and give off no smell).

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