With the beginning of fall yesterday, people will be collecting the rest of their gardens’ fruits and vegetables for canning. The benefits of home food preservation include building a reserve of dehydrated and canned food to eat during the winter and that will stay safe during a power outage.
However, home food preservation is not without risk. One of the greatest risks of improper canning is botulism, a potentially deadly illness.
The National Center for Home Food Preservation is a great resource for current research-based recommendations for most methods of home food preservation. Their website provides detailed instructions on how to can, freeze, dry, cure and smoke, ferment, pickle, make jam and jelly and more.
The Center was established with funding from the Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture (CSREES-USDA) to address food safety concerns for those who practice and teach home food preservation and processing methods.
If you haven’t done home canning before or it has been a while since you last canned food the National Center for Home Food Preservation is a great place to start learning how to do it safely. Their website can be found here.
University Extension Services
Many universities have extension services that offer classes and videos that help teach proper food preservation. Those universities include:
- University of Minnesota Extension — Home canning basics
- NC State Extension — General Canning
- North Dakota State University — Canning
- Utah State University Extension — Canning Resources
- West Virginia University Extension — Canning
Check with your local colleges and universities to see what they have to offer. Many have free materials and courses.
About the National Center for Home Food Preservation
The Center was established with funding from the Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture (CSREES-USDA) in 2000 as a multi-institutional effort with The University of Georgia and Alabama A&M University as the primary institutions. to address food safety concerns for those who practice and teach home food preservation and processing methods.
(To sign up for a free subscription to Food Safety News, click here.)