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Have your pressure canner lid tested

By Toi N. Degree

For the Salisbury Post

SALISBURY — Canning season is right around the corner, so what better time to start getting your equipment ready for your upcoming canning project?

In preparing for the season, you will need to get your pressure canner gauge tested for accuracy. If you own a dial pressure canner, it is recommended that it be tested every year for accuracy.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, inaccurate dial gauges on canners can lead to under processing or over processing of food, resulting in unsafe home canned food. Home canning is an excellent way to preserve garden produce and share it with family and friends, but it can be risky or even deadly if not done correctly and safely. Food that is not properly processed may cause food borne illness.

Free canner testing is available — just bring your pressure canner lid with gauge for testing while you wait. Also bring your rubber gaskets and safety valves so that they too can be inspected to make sure they are in good operating condition.

If you are the owner of an All American canner, please be informed that you do not need to have the gauge tested. The instructions that accompany these canners state that users are to use the weight when canning. The dial is just to indicate that pressure is back to 0 before opening.

You are to follow the 5, 10 or 15 pound directions as you would for any other weighted canner.

I will begin testing dial gauge pressure canner lids on the following Thursdays, 9-11 a.m. on May 19 and 26, June 2, 9, 23 and 30, and each Thursday in July.  We are at the Rowan Agriculture Center on Old Concord Road.

You may reach our office at 704-216- 8970. No need to call ahead to make an appointment; just stop by during the hours mentioned above. If you are unable to make it during the times outlined, give me a call and we can set up an appointment for a more convenient time. If you have any questions about canning or pressure canner testing, please feel free to give me a call.

Toi N. Degree, family and consumer education agent, Rowan County Cooperative Extension Service: toi_degree@ncsu.edu.

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