Jasper County

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Food Preservation

November 13, 2019


Exhibit Introduction

For food competitions -  Filling, frosting, glazing, pie filling, and meringue, (whether uncooked or cooked) are not permitted to contain cream cheese, sour cream, heavy cream, or whipped cream as the nature of these products increases the moisture content and water activity of the food. Foods with a higher moisture content and water activity can be ideal growing conditions for food borne pathogens, even if the ingredient is part of a batter and baked. Additionally, raw milk, raw milk products or uncooked eggs/egg whites are not permitted. Eggs/egg whites that have been cooked to 160°F (i.e. pasteurized or included as part of a batter and baked) are acceptable. No home-canned fruits, vegetables, or meats are permitted in products. Recipes must be provided that show which ingredients were used in each part of the product. Contestants should carefully wash their hands and make sure that their hands do not have any open cuts before preparing foods. Contestants should not be preparing food exhibits for competition within 48 hours of recovering from any illness. Whenever possible, baked products should be transported and stored in chilled coolers (41°F).

Judges and individuals who will consume products from county and state competitions should be informed that they are at risk for foodborne illness since the established policy cannot guarantee that an entry which may be a "potentially hazardous food" has been properly prepared or handled before, during or following the competition. Tasting of a food product is solely at the discretion of the judge. Judges are NOT to taste any low-acid or acidified preserved food, like green beans or tomato products, and are discouraged from tasting any other home preserved food.

Consumers of competitive food exhibits being sold at auction or used for hospitality purposes should be notified they could be at risk for foodborne illness since the established policy cannot guarantee that an entry which may be a “potentially hazardous food” has been properly prepared or handled before, during, or following the competition.


Instructions for preparing food exhibit
for display at Fair

Labeling Suggestions:

  1. Cover label with clear plastic wrap so that it will not become grease stained.
  2. Tape label to the paper plate or container before the product is wrapped.

Recipe or index cards:

  1. A recipe card or index card (no larger than 5 1/2" x 8 1/2") is required for all food exhibits. Be sure to include the recipe source and all the information requested in the exhibit description, as well as your name, county, and grade level/exhibit option. It is recommended that you wrap the card in plastic wrap or in a plastic bag. Recipe cards will not be returned.
  2. Since it is illegal in the State of Indiana for youth under the age of 21 to purchase or consume alcoholic beverages, 4-H members are to use recipes that do not include an alcoholic beverage as an ingredient. A suitable non-alcoholic or imitation product may be substituted.

Food preservation jars/containers:

  1. All canned products must have the ring on the jar top to protect the seal.
  2. Containers will NOT be returned from the Fair.

How to prepare products for display:

  1. Most food products should be displayed on paper or foam plate.
  2. For cakes - cut a piece of cardboard about ½ inch larger than the bottom of the cake. Cover this cardboard with wax paper , plastic wrap, or foil before putting the cake on it.
  3. Any product that may be sticky on the bottom, such as some fancy breads, should be put on round, square, or rectangle cardboard. Cover this cardboard with wax paper, plastic wrap, or foil before putting the food product on it.
  4. Frozen food exhibits (containers and food) will not be returned to the exhibitor. Please display in freezer bags or disposable freezer containers.
  5. Pies should be exhibited in disposable pie tin, Reusable containers or pans will NOT be returned form the Indiana State Fair.


 More Important Rules:

1. ALL completed record sheets and manuals must be tunred in to the 
    4-H Club leader by July 1, and must be securely attached in the green
    "Indiana 4-H Club Member's Record Book." 

2. Baked exhibits must be non-perishable.

3. All divisions will be judged at pre-fair judging. No foods are to be re-baked
    for the County Fair. A piece of each food exhibit will be displayed at the 
    County Fair.

4. No box mixes are allowed.

5. 4-H Foods exhibits will be disposed of as decomposition merits. Products 
    entered for exhibit should be considered as "non-returnable" to the 
    exhibitor due to their time on display and for lack of real food value after 
    being on display at the fair. 

6. One State Fair entry in each grade level.


Exhibit Requirements
(Participants may exhibit one preserved item per grade)

Level A, Grade 3(Manual 4-H 1032)

Level A, Grade 4(Manual 4-H 1032)


Level B, Grade 5(Manual 4-H 1033)

Level B, Grade 6 (Manual 4-H 1033)



Level C, Grade 7, 8, 9(Manual 4-H 1034)

Exhibitors may choose one baked and/or one preserved product from the following list.  It is suggested a participant choose a different option each year, but this is not a requirement.




Level D, Grade 10, 11, 12 (Manual 4-H 1035)

Exhibitors may choose one preserved product from the following list.  It is suggested a participant choose a different option each year, but this is not a requirement. 




Alltrista’s special premium awards go to the best exhibits canned in Ball or Kerr jars and sealed with
Ball or Kerr lids and bands.


* For helpful tips on canning, check out the USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning on the Health & Human Sciences webpage here on our site.





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