Can foods safely this season with free test from Illinois Extension

DECATUR, 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.

Make your appointment today before the canning season begins. Call your local office to set up a time for testing:

  • DeWitt County | 217-935-5764
  • Macon County | 217-877-6042
  • Piatt County | 217-762-2191

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: Maria Lightner, Marketing and Communications, University of Illinois Extension