Just because it seals, does not mean it is safe! There is a common misconception in home canning. That is, if the lid seals, it is a safe product. The question is, what procedures were done before the lid was put on the jar?
When a lid seals on a jar, it is a sign that a vacuum seal has occurred. This is important as the final step in making a safely canned food at home. But the steps before adding the lid are even more important.
Since we are at the height of canning season, and not everyone was able to spend the day at our food preservation update a couple of weeks ago, I thought I would use my column space to emphasize a few important points.
• Use a researched or tested recipe, not old or random recipes.
• Use water bath processing for high acid foods and pressure processing for low acid foods.
• Add acid to tomatoes to make them safe. (This is important!)
• Adjust processing for your altitude of residence. If not, the food may be underprocessed and may spoil.
• Measure headspace to get a good vacuum seal and remove air safely.
Grandma may have dodged illness in her day using older open kettle canning methods such as the oven, inverting jars, or the sun. Those methods are unsafe and not recommended. Make the choice now to safely can foods for your family and friends. I have a few copies of the book, “So Easy to Preserve” available for purchase for $16.25 at the Extension office.
Learn more about safe canning practices at this website: http://www.rrc.ksu.edu/p.aspx?tabid=18
Donna Krug is the Family & Consumer Science Agent with K-State Research and Extension – Barton County. You may reach her at: (620)793-1910 or email@example.com