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USDA's Complete Guide to Home Canning

Nifa Authors

As summer gardening season winds down, most of us are enjoying this year’s harvest – for some a surplus harvest. Don’t know what to do with all your tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, apples, pears, plums and grapes from your garden and fruit trees? Have you considered preserving them?

Everything you need to know about canning and food preservation is available in USDA’s Complete Guide to Home Canning. This resource is for people canning for the first time or for experienced canners wanting to improve their canning practices. The information is based on research conducted by the National Center for Home Food Preservation in cooperation with USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).

The two-part guide contains many research-based recommendations for canning safer and better-quality food at home. The first section explains the scientific principles on which canning techniques are based, discusses canning equipment, and describes the proper use of jars and lids. It describes basic canning ingredients and procedures and how to use them to achieve safe, high-quality canned products. The second section is a series of canning guides for specific foods, including recipes.

The free, 196-page publication can be downloaded from the National Center for Home Food Preservation website. The publication is also available in a spiral, bound book format from Purdue University’s Education Store. 

This project was partially funded through a grant from NIFA’s National Integrated Food Safety Initiative.

Through federal funding and leadership for research, education and extension programs, USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture focuses on investing in science and solving critical issues impacting people's daily lives and the nation's future. Canning excess food, whether from the grocery store or the garden, is an excellent way to reduce food waste and improve nutrition security by ensuring you always have healthy, tasty food whenever you need it.

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Food Safety

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