Getting ready to preserve your garden produce? Need to know how to preserve (can, ferment, freeze, or dry) that garden-fresh taste? You can find links to food preservation resources including fact sheets and recorded trainings by visiting go.osu.edu/preservefranklin.
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 of the most important guidelines 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 is not 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. OSU Extension in Fairfield County is offering canner dial gauge testing free of charge on July 28th, August 11th, and August 28th at the Extension Office. To ensure safety of our staff and guests, testing will be offered by appointment only. To make an appointment to have your canner gauge tested, please call 740-653-5419.