For those considering the purchase of a pressure canner, here are a few tips.
Are you purchasing a pressure canner this summer? Pressure canners are used to process low acid foods like vegetables, meat, poultry, and seafood. Prior to the 1970’s, pressure canners were heavy-walled with clamp-on or turn-on lids. Today, they are light weight: have a jar rack, gasket, dial or weighted gauge, an automatic vent/cover lock, and a safety fuse. They come in several sizes, too. Most pressure canners hold (7) quart jars or (8-9) pint jars. Smaller canners hold 4 quart jars and some large home pressure canners hold as many as 18 pints in two layers. Don’t confuse pressure saucepans with pressure canners. Pressure saucepans are not recommended for home canning.
For more information on pressure canners and tested recipes, visit the National Center for Home Food Preservation on-line.
On today’s program we share resources with food preservation information.
Would you like to learn more about food preservation? Go to The National Center for Home Food Preservation. It’s an on-line source of free or low-cost research-based information.
There are tutorials, videos with information on canning, freezing, and drying foods, and slide shows on topics like Step by Step Canning of Tomato-Pepper Salsa and Preserving Strawberry-Kiwi Jam. There are tested recipes for canning, freezing, drying, fermenting, pickling, and smoking foods as well as recipes for preserving jams and jellies.
Other publications include instructional DVD’s and a book So Easy to Preserve with 185 tested recipes, step-by-step instructions, and information for new and experienced food preservers.
For more information, visit The National Center for Home Food Preservation on-line.
Part four of a six part series. Today we share post-harvest handling tips.
Do you know disease-causing bacteria, viruses, and parasites may be lurking on the vegetables you harvested from your garden? Here are things you can do to as you handle and store produce to minimize the risk of foodborne illness:
- Wash your hands before handling produce. Wash for 20 seconds with warm water and soap. Use a paper towel to dry.
- When you wash produce, the water temperature should not be more than 10 degrees cooler than the pulp of the fruit or vegetable. Tomatoes, peppers, apples, and potatoes draw water into the stem areas if the water temperature is much lower than the temperature of the produce. If there’s a disease-causing microbe on the produce or in the water, it may be drawn inside.
For more information about gardening, contact the Master Gardeners at your local Extension office.
Part three of a six part series, focused on harvesting garden vegetables.
Are you ready to harvest the vegetables from your garden? Commercial growers follow Good Agriculture Practices to reduce and minimize the risk of foodborne illness during harvesting. Whether practiced on a 500 acre farm or your backyard garden, there are several things you can do to ensure food safety during harvesting.
- Wash your hands before you harvest produce. If you use gloves, use clean gloves. Gloves used for weeding or composting may have harmful microbes or chemical residues.
- Remove excess soil from produce before you bring it into your kitchen.
- Always use containers to gather produce that have been cleaned and sanitized. They should be food grade and be used only for food storage.
For more information about gardening, contact the Master Gardeners at your local Extension office. They provide research-based, environmentally friendly advice about gardening practices.
Today we define food borne illness and offer ways to prevent it at home.
What is a foodborne illness? The next time you experience symptoms like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or fever, you may want to consider a foodborne illness as the culprit. While these relatively mild symptoms may seem like the 24 hour stomach flu, some foodborne illnesses can be very serious, even causing death.
Most foodborne illness is caused when food is contaminated with bacteria or viruses. When conditions are rights, bacteria can grow and multiply.
While it’s easy to blame foodservice establishments for foodborne illness, millions of people become ill each year as a result of handling food at home improperly. Most foodborne illness is caused by time-temperature abuse, cross contamination, and poor personal hygiene. You can prevent illness at home by:
- Keeping cold food cold – 40 degrees or below
- Keeping hot foods hot – 140 degree or more
- Reheating leftovers to 165 degrees
- Cleaning and sanitizing food contact surfaces, and
- Washing your hands frequently
Please check back each Wednesday morning for a new “Food Safety in a Minute” episode. Right click the title and select “Save link as…” to save the mp3s to your hard drive. These podcasts are in the public domain, so feel free to use them in any fashion, but please maintain WSU’s affiliation with their production.