Thursday, March 26, 2009

You Meet the Nicest People at the Dry Pack Cannery!

This morning I dropped by the nearby Dry Pack Cannery to can a few items. Met the nicest people there, including a dear school teacher who taught four of my children and still remembered their names! Everyone was so helpful!

One of the nice people I met was April. We got to talking about using oxygen absorbers in plastic buckets. I thought I had read somewhere that you could use them. When I came home I checked out the Provident Living website that states it's "not an effective treatment method." (Oops.) Here's the link for more information regarding oxygen absorbers at
"What types of containers can be used with oxygen absorbers for food storage?

Oxygen absorbers should be used with containers that provide an effective barrier against moisture and oxygen. The following containers work well:

• Metal cans with seamed lids.
• Foil pouches (such as those provided by Church home storage centers and available from
• PETE plastic bottles with airtight, screw-on lids.
• Glass canning jars with metal lids that have gaskets.

Oxygen absorbers are not an effective treatment method for plastic buckets, milk bottles, or other types of plastic bottles not identified as PETE or PET under the recycle symbol (see right)."


Here is some information from the USU Extension Service regarding "Fumigation with Dry Ice Prior to Storage":
"Prevent Insect Infestations
To prevent insect infestations in bulk foods, keep all stored foods in tight, clean, metal, plastic, or glass insect-proof containers that have tight fitting lids and no open seams or crevices. Store food off the floor and away from damp areas.

Fumigation with Dry Ice Prior to Storage
To fumigate home stored wheat or similar products, spread about 2 ounces of crushed dry ice on 3 or 4 inches of grain in the bottom of the container, then add the remaining grain to the can until it is at the desired depth. If fumigating large quantities use 14 ounces for 100 pounds of grain or 1 pound of dry ice for each 30 gallons of stored grain. At approximately 75 cents a pound for dry ice the cost of fumigating is reasonable.

Since the fumes from vaporizing dry ice are heavier than air, they should readily replace the existing air in the container. Allow sufficient time for the dry ice to evaporate (vaporize) before placing the lid on all the way (approximately 30 minutes). The lid should not be made tight until the dry ice has pretty well vaporized and has replaced the regular air. Then it can be placed firmly on the container and sealed.

Should pressure cause bulging of the can after the lid has been put in place, remove the lid cautiously for a few minutes and then replace it. If using plastic bags in the can, don’t seal the bags until the dry ice has vaporized. Carbon dioxide will stay in the container for some time, provided the container lid is tight. When practical, follow the above procedure in a dry atmosphere to reduce the condensation of moisture in the bottom of the can.

Dry ice tends to control most adult and larval insects present, but probably will not destroy all the eggs or pupae. If a tight fitting lid is placed firmly on the container after the dry ice has vaporized, it may keep enough carbon dioxide inside to destroy some of the eggs and pupae. After 2 to 3 weeks another fumigation with dry ice may be desirable to destroy adult insects which have matured from the surviving eggs and pupae.

If properly done, these two treatments should suffice. Yearly treatments are not indicated unless an infestation is recognized."

(Source:, pg. 12)


Anonymous said...

Oxygen absorbers are more complicated to use than most people imagine.

All your containers need to be prepared and filled *before* opening the bag of absorbers. You have 15 minutes to insert them and seal the containers (a real problem if using Mylar bags) for them to remain viable.

When the absorber bag is opened, they need to be spread out on the table and NOT piled together. Piling them together causes a chemical reaction that will cause them to heat up as they combine with oxygen and they will lose their effectiveness.

It's wiser, IMO, to buy professionally-packaged long term storage foods, if you don't know what you're doing with oxygen absorbers. There's too much at stake to risk a trial-and-error solution.

Bruce Hopkins

Anonymous said...

I usually go to the cannery with my sister. We have the best time! It sounds weird to some people, but we really enjoy meeting like-minded people and spending time together.:)
The wet-pack cannery was our favorite, since we had to travel to a neighboring city, so it was kind of a road trip. Unfortunately, the Canadian wet-pack canneries have all closed permanently. We sure do miss them.