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Follow current and safe practices when canning food

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The two methods for canning are the “boiling water bath” method and pressure canning. The boiling water method is appropriate for making jams and jellies but pressure canning is the only safe way to can vegetables.

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Canning food is a great method for saving seasonal food for other times of the year.

You may can all kinds of fruits and vegetables, from tomatoes to pumpkins. The produce can be from your own garden, the grocery store or a produce stand.

The two methods for canning are the “boiling water bath” method and pressure canning. The boiling water method is appropriate for making jams and jellies but pressure canning is the only safe way to can vegetables.

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When canning, it’s important to use foods at the peak of their quality and be sure to follow the strict canning procedures specified for your product.

Before eating your canned foods, look for any signs of spoilage and remember: canned foods can be as nutritious as fresh produce.

To make sure that you are following the most current and safe recommendations in canning your produce and in food preservation, contact the Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Agent at the UF/IFAS Extension Office in your County or visit this website.

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http://sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/leon/family-and-consumer-sciences-/food-preservation-and-safety

This link can help you find the UF/IFAS Extension Office in your County.

http://sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/find-your-local-office

Also, you may want to purchase the USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning. This $19 publication can be purchased through the IFAS Extension Bookstore (link below). This guide provides info on how to select, prepare and can fruits, vegetables, poultry, red meats and seafood as well as how to preserve fruit spreads, fermented foods and pickled vegetables. It also includes info on how to test jar seals and how to identify and spoiled canned foods.

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http://ifasbooks.ifas.ufl.edu/p-305-usda-complete-guide-to-home-canning.aspx

Finally, to learn how to can your fresh produce you may want to attend a seminar on Wednesday, June 20th. This hour long seminar on canning fruits and vegetables begins at 10 a.m. and will be held at the Okaloosa County Extension Office located at 3098 Airport Road in Crestview.

Master Gardeners Bill Buckellew and Margaret Stewart will cover the art of canning fruits, tomatoes, pickles, jams, jellies and more. They’ll also discuss the basics of water bath canning, pressure canning, dehydrating and fermenting your produce. Learn what tools you need as well as safety in food handling and processing.

There is no cost to attend but space is limited so registration is required. Please call the UF/IFAS Okaloosa County Extension Office at (850) 689-5850 to register.

Larry Williams is the Extension horticulture agent with the Okaloosa County Cooperative Extension Service, University of Florida. Contact Larry at 689-5850 or email lwilliams@myokaloosa.com.

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