SPRINGFIELD, Ill.— A variety of foods can be canned at home through boiling water bath canning and pressure canning. Pressure canning is important when canning low-acid foods, particularly meats and vegetables.

Along with providing virtual and in-person classes on preserving at home through canning, freezing, and drying, Illinois Extension offers free testing for dial-gauge pressure canners.

Over time, the needle on a dial-gauge pressure canner can become inaccurate. If the dial-gauge is not measuring the correct pressure, foods inside the pressure canner may be under-processed, which increases the risk of serious illness from botulism.

“We recommend home canners have their dial-gauge pressure canners tested at least once each year to see if the needle is accurate. Testing often takes no more than 15 minutes per canner and it is well worth the visit to know what the gauge reads,” says Caitlin Mellendorf, nutrition and wellness educator with University of Illinois Extension.

The Sangamon County Extension Office will host a testing day on May 20 from 9am-3:30pm. Call 217-782-4617 to schedule an in-person time slot, or drop off your lid(s) at the Sangamon County office by May 19 (700 S. Airport Dr., Springfield, IL 62707), or at the Logan County Extension office by May 12 (980 N. Postville Dr. Lincoln, IL) or you can drop them off at the Menard County Extension office by May 12 (Monday or Wednesdays at 420 S. 7th St., Petersburg, IL). Participants can then pick up their tested canner at a later date.

Please leave dial-gauges attached to canner lids. Attendees do not need to bring the canner base unless they want something checked.

For more information about preserving at home, visit the National Center for Home Food Preservation.

University of Illinois Extension provides equal opportunities for programs and employment. If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in this program, please contact 217-782-4617. Early requests are strongly encouraged to allow sufficient time for meeting your access need.

Source: Caitlin Mellendorf, Nutrition and Wellness Educator, University of Illinois Extension

Writer: Terri Miller, County Director, University of Illinois Extension

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