Food Preservation: Home Canning Safety

Canning with Denali

Canning is a super important method of food preservation. The process entails placing food in jars and heating them up to kill bacteria as well as sealing the food. This also inactivates enzymes that cause the food to go bad. Air is driven from the jar during heating, and as it cools, a vacuum seal is formed. This vacuum seal prevents air from getting back into the product bringing with it microorganisms to recontaminate the food. As you can see it is very important to have the right lids to seal your food properly. We at Denali know how important it is for our lids to seal. That is why we pride ourselves with bringing the absolute best products for our canning family.

Ensuring Canning Safety

Even though this isn't the most exciting thing to talk about, it is the most important. Always use a boiling water canner or a pressure canner, depending on the food acidity level. All low acid foods (meats, vegetables, soup, or stock) need to be canned in a pressure canner. While all high acid foods (fruits, jams, jelly’s, and pickles) can be done in a water bath canner. These methods must be followed for proper canning safety at home and to prevent any illness. Botulism is the most commonly associated food-borne illness with home canned foods. This usually happens because the bacterial cells are killed at boiling temperatures, but they can form spores that survive these temperatures. The spores grow well in low-acid foods, mixed with the absence of air. When the spores begin to grow, they produce the deadly botulinum toxin. These spores can be destroyed by canning the food at a temperature of 240 °F, or above, for the correct length of time. This temperature is above the boiling point of water (212 °F) so it can only be reached in a pressure canner. 

You should also always examine jars and lids before canning. Make sure your jars do not have any nicks or cracks because these defects can lead to a non-airtight seal which can result in food spoilage. Be sure to use new lids every time for a proper seal! This is because canning lids are made to seal only once. Once they’ve been sealed on a jar, their seal is compromised and they can’t be guaranteed to seal again. Rings can be reused as long as you clean and sanitize them before each use. Click here to check out some Lids and Rings.