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Preserving food with home canning is a great way to enjoy the fresh flavours of local, seasonal food all year long. Are you interested in canning and want to find out more? This is a great place to start.
Home canning is a way to preserve fresh foods in glass jars. It’s a homemade version of store bought jarred or canned goods like jams, chutney, pickled beets, soups, tomato sauce or sauerkraut.
Home canning is a fun way to share family recipes, save money, teach your kids food skills, and preserve garden produce and seasonal foods!
Many foods can be canned. For example, vegetables and fruit can be made into:
Meat, fish, eggs, poultry, milk and prepared foods like soups and stews can also be canned.
When food is canned properly, canning preserves food by:
There are two main ways to can food depending on if the food is high or low acid. High and low acid foods need to be canned differently to prevent harmful bacteria from growing.
*Note: When tomatoes are being prepared for canning, an acid (such as vinegar) must be added to them to make them safer for preserving.
When done properly, home canning is safe. However, if not done properly, home canning can cause botulism. Botulism is a serious type of food poisoning that can be fatal. Botulism doesn't change the colour, odour or taste of food. That’s why it’s important to use proper home canning methods.
Tip: Only use tested recipes when canning and do not change the ingredients or the methods. Even small changes can affect the quality and safety.
If you are new to canning or have not canned in a long time, try taking a canning course or canning with someone who does it frequently.
Read Home canning: Getting started to get even more tips on home canning!
Home canning safety, Government of Canada
Home Canning: How to Avoid Botulism, BC Health Guide Program
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