Why are we such sticklers at AnswerLine when it comes to canning advice? Callers are sometimes a bit frustrated with us when we answer canning questions. We often have to tell a caller that the old family recipe for a canned product is not safe. We must advise them that oven canning, canning low acid vegetables in a water bath canner, and using “any old recipe” for pickles are not safe practices.
Times have changed since Great Grandma was canning for her family. We now have recipes that have been scientifically tested to ensure a safe product. They are available through several resources. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach has the Preserve the Taste of Summer series of recipes, The National Center for Home Food Preservation through the University of Georgia has both a website and a cookbook “So Easy to Preserve”, the USDA has a Home Canning Guide, and the Ball company has the Ball Blue Book (new expanded edition this year) as well as their Complete Book of Home Preserving.
The recipes and procedures in these books have been scientifically tested in a laboratory to ensure the coldest part of a canning jar gets hot enough long enough to kill the botulism bacteria if present. We don’t want you to cut corners and put your family at risk. Botulism can be a deadly disease and those at the greatest risk are those who are often most dear to our hearts; the elderly and the very young. Pregnant women and those people with a compromised immune system are also at great risk.
We sometimes don’t enjoy our role as the “canning police” but our main goal is to help you keep your family safe for years to come. Please contact us if you have any canning questions or need some tested recipes.