Exploding sauerkraut leads to botulism scare


David sent me this story about a can of sauerkraut that exploded in a secondary school in Prince George, B.C., prompting a student quarantine and a hazmat investigation. They were concerned about a botulism outbreak.

I don't really have a problem with the response, but I was disappointed that the news story failed to mention that "the popular German sausage topping" is never associated with botulism. It's too sour. Botulism can't survive in an environment where the pH is 4.6 or less. Sauerkraut is about 10 more acidic than that.

Above, Sandor Ellix Katz talks about the difference between canning and fermenting. Katz, a long term HIV/AIDS survivor who lives on a queer intentional community in Tennessee, is a "fermentation fetishist." He is the author of the outstanding Wild Fermentation, a book that shows you how to make a wide variety of fermented foods: beer, wine, mead, miso, tempeh, sourdough bread, yogurt, cheese, and other more exotic foods. I highly recommend Wild Fermentation.

Exploding sauerkraut brings in Hazmat team