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Safe Home Food Preservation Practices

Safe Home Food Preservation Practices

Canning is easy right? Maybe think again. Canning our produce is hard work, but definitely worth it. Home growers and preservers should be knowledgeable on the topic of home food preservation. With food preservation, the first step is understanding food safety practices. First, one must start by checking your equipment and supplies. Proper equipment in good condition is required for safe, high quality home canned food. Also, it is vital to make sure that you are following up-to-date and safe canning practices. Things have changed, and what has been followed in year’s past, may not be best practice.

Another must is reliable, up-to-date canning instructions. Publications and information are available at your county Extension office, or on the National Center for Home Food Preservation website. The current edition of the USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning is on and can be purchased through Purdue Extension-Education Store. A series of food preservation publications, Let’s Preserve are downloadable through the Education Store also. The University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service also sells So Easy to Preserve, a comprehensive book with information on all types of home food preservation. Copies of this book are available for $20 at the Extension office.

Planning ahead can save you time, money, and frustration with home canning. Make it a happy, successful canning season by getting prepared before your harvest is ready. Dial gauges should be tested annually for accuracy. You may bring your pressure canner lid with your dial gage attached to the office. Please call 765-653-8411or email to schedule an appointment. The cost for dial gauge testing is $5.00.

If you are looking for more in-depth (and hands-on) education and training on home food preservation, consider attending the “Mastering Home Food Preservation” training at Purdue University this June. Participants of this course will learn about food safety and freezing food, boiling water canning, pressure canning, pickling and drying foods, and jams and jellies. The cost of the course is $200, and one must register here: Participants will receive a notebook, and several take-home food products. Only most current recommendations will be covered. If you are interested in a more local food preservation workshop, please contact the Extension office to be connected with future local programs.

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