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UW-Extension offers safety tips on home canning

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An organically grown Heirloom tomato is seen in the produce section at the Whole Foods grocery story in Ann Arbor, Michigan, March 8, 2012.
An organically grown Heirloom tomato is seen in the produce section at the Whole Foods grocery story in Ann Arbor, Michigan, March 8, 2012.

STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WSAU) - Summer is on its way and the UW-Extension wants to help you safely preserve the fruits of your home garden.

Canning is a great way to save your fresh produce for later in the year, and is quickly returning to popularity with the growth of home gardening. But Family Living Educator Sherry Daniels says canning is an exact process. "There are tested recipes and procedures and they should be followed exactly. Changing the recipe or how you handle it can make it unsafe."

Daniels says home canners should remember that a jar of produce is a great place for bacteria and other nasty things to grow, so be sure that you've properly sterilized all your equipment each time you use it. "If germs get locked into your jars, there's potential for germs to grow."

You should inspect and repair any canning or preserving equipment at the beginning of the season. This is also a great time to be sure your food dehydrator is working properly if you dry your fruits or vegetables. A must for every canning session is also new lids. Daniels says most canning lids are not intended for repeated use. "The adhesive doesn't work as well the second time."

You can get more safety tips and tasty recipes online http://www.foodsafety.wisc.edu.

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