Picture of pickled vegetables

Canning is a method of preserving food that prevents spoiling.  It uses heat and acid to help preserve food and keep it safe for us to eat.

Jar, Food, Canning

You can preserve all types of foods.

Popular choices include:

  • tomatoes
  • jams
  • jellies
  • sauces
  • fruits
  • chutneys
  • relishes
  • pickles
  • vegetables

It is also possible to can meat, fish, poultry, milk and prepared foods like soups and stews. The canning equipment and method that you use will depend on what food you are preserving.

Improper home canning can increase the risk of botulism, which is a foodborne illness.   The bacteria like to grow in environments that are low in acid and oxygen, and high in moisture.

When done properly, home canning is a safe method of food preservation in preventing the risk of Botulism.

Proper canning technique uses acid, high temperatures and oxygen removal to prevent growth and kill bacteria.

When proper home canning techniques are followed, the risk of botulism is very low.

One of the best ways to ensure that the foods you are canning is safe to eat is by using the Heat Processing Method.  This includes:

  1. Placing prepared food in mason jars that can be sealed airtight with a two-piece metal lid.
  2. Using the correct type of canner to heat the filled jars to a designated temperature for the food being processed.
  3. Maintaining this temperature for the time specified in up-do-date, tested recipes to destroy spoilage micro-organisms.
  4. Cooling jars properly to allow lids to form a strong vacuum seal.

The safest home canning choices to start with are foods made with high-acid foods like fruits for jams or tomatoes for salsas. Relishes, other salsas, and chutneys can also be made safer with the addition of an acid like vinegar. Be sure to follow the recipe.

If you are receiving home canning as a gift, always remember to ask how it was prepared to ensure that you and your family avoid unnecessary risks of becoming sick.