NDSU Extension - Sargent County


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NDSU Extension is offering free online food preservation classes.  By participating live, you can ask questions and actively engage.  Registration is required and will also be your ticket to accessing recordings of the sessions.  Registration is at https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/fieldtofork.  The webinars will be held on ZOOM from 2:00 – 3:00 p.m., and the dates/topics will be:

  • Let’s make jams, jellies and pickles (July 29)
  • Let’s preserve tomatoes and salsa (August 5)

Food preservation guidelines have changed through time. Check your knowledge of current food preservation recommendations by deciding if you think these statements are facts or myths. The correct answers and explanations follow.

  1. Fact or Myth?  Canning jar lids should always be boiled prior to placing on jars.
  2. Fact or Myth? Screw bands should be tightened “fingertip tight” prior to canning.
  3. Fact or Myth?  As long as you boil the jars of canned vegetables long enough, and hear the lids “pop,” the contents in the jar will be safe to eat.
  4. Fact or Myth?  It is safe to invent your own salsa recipe and can it as long as you process it in a water-bath canner.

Number one is a mythIt depends on the manufacturer’s instructions. Lids made now often are not to be boiled prior to placing on filled jars. Boiling the lids when it is not recommended can result in sealing failures.

Number two is a fact.  Just use your fingertips – not your muscles – to tighten screw bands. Overtightening can lead to seal failures. Prepare lids as directed on the package. Do not reuse lids. You can reuse screw bands if they are in good condition – not rusty or dented.

Number three is a myth.  Unless you process canned foods properly, you could put yourself at risk for botulism, a potentially fatal form of foodborne illness. Clostridium botulinum spores can grow and produce a toxin in low-acid foods in sealed cans or jars. Boiling jars at 212 degrees will not kill this organism or its spores. The acidity (or pH) of a food determines how foods should be canned. Low-acid foods such as these must be processed in a pressure canner:

  • Vegetables (except when acidified)
  • Meats, Poultry, Seafood
  • Soups, and Mixtures of acid and low-acid foods

Number four is a myth.  If you invent your own salsa recipe, you can freeze it. Follow research-based salsa recipes exactly and measure/weigh ingredients carefully and accurately.

More great fact/myth questions and answers can be found online at https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/publications/food-nutrition/food-preservation-facts-or-myths/fn-1427-food-preservation-facts-or-myths.pdf.

Photo Source: https://pixabay.com/photos/jam-jelly-jar-food-homemade-fruit-2091026/ (downloaded 7/28/20)

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