Home canning is a relatively simple process, but many variables can affect your finished product. There are so many resources with unsafe information that it is important to make sure you are following the most recent safe home canning guidelines. One guideline for home canning foods safely is using a pressure canner to process low-acid foods, such as vegetables, meat, poultry, and fish. These low-acid foods must be pressure canned at the recommended time and temperature to destroy Clostridium botulinum, the bacterium that causes botulism food poisoning. Home canning low-acid foods in boiling water canners is absolutely unsafe because 212 degrees F is not high enough to destroy botulinum bacteria.
With good reason, most people have a healthy regard for the possible dangers of pressure canners. Usually this respect is based on an old story of a pressure canner “blowing up” in someone’s grandmother’s kitchen. Regardless, it is important to realize that pressure canners are safe if the safety precautions are followed and the canner is used properly. Dangers arise when the unit isn’t maintained and/or used properly. To make sure your pressure canner is working properly, all dial-gauge pressure canners should be tested for accuracy each year.
Remember, home food preservation can be safe, simple and easy to learn
Virtual Office Hours Food Preservation
The OSU Extension Food Preservation Team held a bi-weekly Food Preservation Program on-line during the month of July. Home food preservation is anticipated to be a big topic this year. The Food Preservation Team really wants to get people started off right, even if we can’t meet them face-to-face. The presentations were recorded and a link is below for those who could not attend live.
|Preparing for Canning|
|Water Bath Canning|
|Pickling and Fermentation|
|Freezing Fruits and Vegetables|
Gardeners and other lovers of fresh produce are often interested in extending the season's bounty by learning more about home-preserving fruits and vegetables. Ohio State University Extension Family and Consumer Sciences home food preservation workshops focus on teaching the basics of home canning and preservation. We emphasize the science behind preservation so than everyone who cans or freezes fresh fruits and vegetables understands why certain procedures must be followed precisely to ensure a high-quality, safe product that they and their family can enjoy.
- Basic food safety principles.
- How to use a water bath canner and a pressure canner.
- Canning tomatoes, pickling, and making jams and jellies.
- Freezing fruits and vegetables.
- Accessing reliable research-backed resources from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, OSU Extension, and others.
All pressure canner dial gauges should be tested for accuracy each year. Click HERE for OSU Extension's Home Food Preservation page, which contains several videos about canning!
Ohio State University Extension Family & Consumer Sciences professionals offer a variety of food safety programming throughout the state. The manner in which people handle and prepare food is a major reason why foodborne illness occurs. People must alter their food handling behavior, but they must first have the knowledge and skills that are known to protect food from contamination with pathogens before they have the capacity to change their behavior. Education provides the knowledge and skills Ohio citizens need to reduce incidence of foodborne illness and to reduce the impact on health care costs.
Click HERE to go to OSU Extension's webpage to read more on food safety.