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Dried Foods: Questions and Answers



by: Val Hillers, Ph.D. , Extension Food Specialist

9/13/2001


What can I do about insects which may have contaminated my sun-dried vegetables?
To kill any possible insects and their eggs that may have contaminated sun-dried foods, place the packaged dried vegetables in your home freezer at 0F for 48 hours or pasteurize for 30 minutes in a 150F oven.

I did not pre-treat my pears before drying.  Now they are darker in color.  Are they dangerous to eat?
No, the fruit will still be good to eat.

How do I know my venison jerky is dried properly?
The jerky will be as brittle as a green stick; it won't snap clean as a dry stick does.  Be sure to test it after cooling because it will be pliable when it is still warm.

My dried apples molded.  Can they be rescued?
No.  Throw them out.  The next time you dry fruit, either remove more of the liquid so mold cannot grow or else store the dried fruit in the freezer.

Why should meat be pre-treated before drying into jerky?
Beef or deer meat may contain E. coliO157:H7, which is not killed by drying. Bear or pork meat should be cooked before it is made into jerky to destroy parasites that might cause trichinosis.  To produce a safe product, jerky meat must be pre-treated prior to drying.  Additional info about jerky preparation is available byclicking here.

Can I safely make a meat jerky without salt?
Making low-salt jerky is not recommended.  The salt binds the moisture in the meat and thus any bacteria on the meat are more quickly killed because they do not have water available to them.

 

 
 

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