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Jackie Clay

Q and A: canning sauerkraut, fish antibiotics, and heating canned meat before use

Sunday, January 13th, 2013

Canning sauerkraut

I was given a fermentation crock pot for Christmas and I have a batch of sauerkraut doing its thing now. Can I can the sauerkraut after it is done and if so how should I do it? I would do it in pints because there is only two of us. Do you have any other recipes to do in the crock?

Cindy Schneider
Hudson, Florida

Yes, you can home can your sauerkraut. It’s easy and the kraut will last for years this way. All you have to do is to place it with the juice in a large kettle and bring it to 185-210 degrees. Do not boil. Pack hot into hot jars, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace. Cover with hot liquid leaving 1/2 inch of headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rim of jar clean; place hot, previously-simmered lid on jar and screw down ring firmly tight. Process pints for 15 minutes and quarts for 20 minutes in a boiling water bath canner. (This recipe can be found in my book, Growing and Canning Your Own Food.)

I don’t have room for more recipes here, but I can suggest a good book for you so you can make great use of your fermenting crock pot. This is Making Sauerkraut and Other Pickled Vegetables at Home by Klaus Kaufmann and Annelies Schroneck. Enjoy your new kitchen tool! — Jackie

Fish antibiotics

I recently heard that antibiotics sold in pet stores for fish can also be used on humans. Is this true? I at this time don’t plan on doing this if it is true, However I was thinking it might be a source of having an antibiotic available in the case of an emergency beyond our control. If this is true where would a person learn what ones to store in their first aid supplies. I hope this is true as getting those types of medications can sometimes really be a pain especially when you’re not ill and just wanting to have supplies on hand for the future.

Marysville, Kansas

Yes, antibiotics sold in pet stores for fish can be used on humans. In fact, it was manufactured by human drug companies and most is packaged in the human dose. Two common ones are Fish Cycline and Fish Cillin. They aren’t real cheap but are good antibiotics to have on hand for emergencies. — Jackie

Heating canned meat before use

I know recommendations are that all low-acid home-canned foods be heated before use, but I’m wondering if it’s ever OK to eat meats right from the jar? In particular, I’m thinking about some chicken breast I canned. I used it recently in a casserole, and when I opened the jar, it smelled and looked great. I was thinking it would be nice to just open a can of it, drain it, and turn it into chicken salad (without recooking it). What do you think?

Bolton, Massachusetts

It’s always recommended to heat home canned low acid foods for safety’s sake. You could always re-heat it then refrigerate it to re-use cold; that’s what I do. — Jackie

4 Responses to “Q and A: canning sauerkraut, fish antibiotics, and heating canned meat before use”

  1. ladyhawthorne Says:

    The antibiotic most folks get is Fish Mox Forte and it can be purchased from amazon as well. It is amoxicillin. There are many articles on the web about using fish antibiotics.

  2. Hanza Says:

    One very important thing to remember about antibiotics is this: ANTIBIOTICS *DO NOT* WORK ON ILLNESSES CAUSED BY A VIRUS. Think colds, and the flu which are the most common.

    People often when they have either of those flock to their care provider and demand an antibiotic. And they get irate if their physician does the right thing and says “no”.

    Prescribing an antibiotic for a virus caused illness is actually malpractice.

    Another problem with taking antibiotics is that often people stop taking them when they feel better instead of finishing the amount prescribed. This is one of the reasons why bacteria is becoming resistant to antibiotics.

    We are running out of antibiotics to treat diseases because they have become immune faster than new ones can be developed.

  3. anointedma Says:

    As an RN of 22 years,I have seen both ends of the spectrum when it comes to taking antibiotics..It used to be a common practice to give antibiotics for childrens ear infections and if nasal mucus had yellow or green coloration to it…Npw you almost have to beg to get an antibiotic for a bacterial infection because the Dr.’s are afraid to do their jobs..Even when experienced nurses try to “teach ” these younger Dr.s they still are scared…Sometimes seeing how antibiotics can significantly change the quality of life and shorten the time to full recovery takes time and experience..Find a good older Dr. who has seen everything and can diagnose by sight and smell.They can and will prescribe antibiotics as needed..Yes take the full dose to stop the resistance that we have seen in the past..Praying that we will never have to resort to taking animal meds,but I will if I need too…

  4. Sharon Says:

    Dr. Joe and Nurse Amy Alton, authors in BHM, have a website ( where they explain using fish antibiotics among other useful topics.

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