Before using your pressure canner, have your dial gauge tested for accuracy. Testing will ensure your pressure canner reaches the appropriate pressure needed to process low-acid foods, such as vegetables and meats, safely. Over time, a pressure canner's dial gauge will become inaccurate, resulting in either reading too high or too low. If the pressure gauge reads too high, it will lead to under-processing resulting in unsafe foods. This is because the high temperature needed to destroy harmful microorganisms, such as the botulism toxin, can only be reached under pressure. If the dial gauge reads too low, your product will lose quality due to over-processing, and foods may become mushy.

If the dial gauge reads up to two pounds high or low, slight pressure adjustments can be made without replacing the dial gauge. However, if it differs by more than two pounds, the gauge must be replaced.

Pressure Canner Dial Gauge Testing Walk-in Clinics will be held on two different dates in each of Jo Daviess, Stephenson and Winnebago counties. Preregistration is requested for this free event. If you cannot make it during clinic hours, drop off the canner lid with a dial gauge, complete the required form, and pick up your canner lid and gauge after clinic date.

To register, please choose the date you would like to attend:

Jo Daviess County clinic will be held: Thursday, July 29, 2021 from 1:00 - 3:00pm

Stephenson County clinic will be held: Wednesday, July 28, 2021 from 1:00 - 3:00pm

Winnebago County clinic will be held:  Friday, July 23, 2021 from 1:00 - 3:00pm