Janet Hackert, Nutrition and Health Education Specialist, Harrison County, University of Missouri Extension
Spring is here, which means it is time to get canning supplies and equipment checked and ready to use. It’s also a good time to brush up on safe canning techniques.
Any low acid foods, like vegetables, meats and some tomato products, need to be canned under pressure in order to reach the temperature required to destroy the disease-causing microorganisms that could be present.
When checking equipment, be sure to get the dial gauge of your pressure canner tested before it is needed. The spring in the dial gauge can get worn out or stuck, so it needs to be tested annually. If a pressure gauge is not accurate, it could create an environment inside the canning jar that is not only unsafe but is instead the perfect breeding ground for growing the pathogens. The contamination cannot be seen, smelled or tasted, so the only way to ensure that the food is safe is to preserve it in the correct way.
Pressure canner gauges can be tested at various MU Extension county offices…
For more information and resources on testing your equipment and preserving foods, see the full version of this article at http://missourifamilies.org/