Canning safety tips and resources

Published: Sep. 9, 2021 at 1:15 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - Properly canned food is a safe home food preservation method. However, with advances in science, canning guidelines have changed over the years to ensure safe, quality food for your family.

April Bennett, nutrition program manager at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Jefferson County, appeared on 7 News at Noon on Thursday to talk about canning safety. Watch her interview above.

She says there are three potential ways to create shelf-stable canned goods at home:

Boiling Water bath canner

High acid foods such as fruits, pickles, sauerkraut, jams, jellies, marmalades, and fruit butters. Tomatoes if citric acid or lemon juice is added.

Pressure canner

Meat, poultry, seafood, and vege­tables

Atmospheric steam canner (same guidelines as water bath)

Whether food should be processed in a pressure canner or boiling-water canner to control botulinum bacteria depends on the acidity of the food. Acidity may be natural, as in most fruits, or added, as in pickled food.

The exact time depends on the kind of food being canned, the way it is packed into jars, and the size of jars.

Proper canning practices include:

  • Carefully selecting and washing fresh food,
  • Peeling some fresh foods,
  • Hot packing many foods,
  • Adding acids (lemon juice or vinegar) to some foods,
  • Using acceptable jars and self-sealing lids,
  • Processing jars in a boiling-water or pressure canner for the correct period of time.

CCE is hosting canning watch parties on Monday September 13 and 20. To learn more and register, visit

Other resources:

National Center for Home Food Preservation Website at

Penn State University Food Preservation Data Base at

So Easy to Preserve, University of Georgia, Cooperative Extension, 7th Edition (July 2020)

For more information, visit

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