Welcome to my blog on healthy eating and food safety. I look forward to your comments and feedback regarding use of this tool to disseminate educational information. This blog will be updated on a regular basis.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Don't Make These Canning Mistakes

Don’t Make These Canning Mistakes
 There are a number of mistakes that can be made when preserving food.  Make sure not to make the following mistakes. 
·         Make up your own canning recipe. Without scientific testing, you will not know how long the product needs to be processed to be safe.
·         Adding EXTRA starch, flour or other thickener to recipe. This will slow the rate of heat penetration into the product and can result in undercooking.
·         Adding EXTRA onions, chilies, bell peppers, or other vegetables to salsas. The extra vegetables dilute the acidity and can result in botulism poisoning.
·         Using an oven instead of water bath for processing. The product will be under-processed since air is not as good a conductor of heat as water or steam.
·         Not venting pressure canner. Lack of venting can result in air pockets (cold spots) which will not reach as high a temperature as is needed.
·         Using an oven instead of a water bath canner for processing.  The product will be under processed since air is not as good of conductor as heat.
·         Cooling pressure canner under running water.
·         Calculations as to processing time include the residual heat during the normal cool-down period as part of the canning process. Hurrying this process will result in under-processed food; siphoning of liquid from the jars and jar breakage may also occur.
·         Use of mayonnaise jars. The thinner walls of the glass may break, especially if used in a pressure canner, and it may be more difficult to obtain a good seal.
·         Acid needs to be added when canning tomato products.  One tablespoon of lemon juice needs to be added to pints jars and two tablespoons per quart jar.  
Source: Kelly Riggs, Utah State Extension

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