• When filling jars, always use the correct headspace. Headspace is the space in the jar that is between the lid and the top of the food or liquid. Having too little or too much headspace can affect how the lid seals and the quality of the final product.
• After jars have been processed, check the lids within 12 to 24 hours to make sure they are sealed. Food from jars that did not seal should be frozen or refrigerated and eaten in a couple of days. You may also reprocess or re-can it within 24 hours.
• Label lids with the name of the food, date the food was canned an batch number (if you canned more than once that day). That way if you see signs of spoilage, you can identify the batch number and pay special attention to those jars.
• Store canned foods in a dark, cool and dry place. If the food is stored in a humid place, the moisture can cause the lids to rust, leading to spoilage. Periodically check the jars for signs of spoilage.
• For best quality, use home canned foods within one year.
For additional information you can visit these websites:
• So Easy to Preserve (University of Georgia Extension) http://uga.edu/setp.
• National Center for Home Food Preservation http://www.uga.edu/nchfp.
Kathy Smith is a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service agent for Parker County. Contact her at (817) 598-6168 or firstname.lastname@example.org.