Food Safety & Preservation
Whether you are a new or experienced home canner, you have come to the right place. Utah State University Extension is committed to providing the most up-to-date instructions and recipes so that you can be successful when preserving food at home. Our goal is to provide home canning resources so that your experience is satisfying and leaves you with the assurance that the food you preserve at home is safe and the highest quality possible. Whatever your reasons for canning food at home, you have come to the right place. Take a few minutes to browse some of the links for the latest information on home canning.
Did you know that because Utah's elevation ranges dramatically, canning in our state requires
special attention and changes to canning times and pressures? See the chart below
for specific SALT LAKE COUNTY recommendations for high elevations followed by further
information and resources.
Need a Good Salsa Recipe?
We are often asked for a tested and safe salsa recipe that actually tastes good and is not too "vinegarish". Here are some taste-tester favorites from the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving.
Acidification for Tomatoes:
To ensure safe acidity in whole, crushed, or juiced tomatoes, add 2 tablespoons of bottled lemon juice or 1/2 teaspoon citric acid per quart of tomatoes. Acid can be added directly to the jars before filling with product. Add sugar to offset acid taste, if desired. Vinegar may also be used; use 4 tablespoons of 5% acidity vinegar per quart. However, vinegar may cause undesirable flavor changes. We recommend the lemon juice or citric acid.
The USDA does not recommend the use of steam canners due to inadequate research and testing. However, Utah State University tested the steam canners and found them to be safe and adequate for processing certain goods, if used according to instructions and safe canning procedures. Due to botulism poisoning potential, we DO NOT recommend that you use a seam canner for meat, tomatoes, and vegetables. If you choose to use a steam canner for fruits, jams, and jellies, only USDA approved and tested recipes and canning times should be used. Processing times for boiling-waterbath canners may be used for the steam canners. It is very important to make sure that an eight inch plume of steam is present during the entire processing and water must not run out before the end of processing.
Ball 1-800 Number:
Occasionally, you might have a food preservation/canning question during our after-office hours or on the weekend. Please feel free to contact the Ball Canning Company at 1-800-240-3340 with your food preservation questions. Be sure to request instructions for high altitude (4,000-6,000 feet) food preservation. The Ball Company may also be contacted via their website.
More Canning Resources:
USDA Home Canning Guidelines and Recipes:
- General Guidelines for Canning
- Fruits and Fruit Products
- Tomatoes and Tomato Products
- Vegetables and Vegetable Products
- Fermented Foods and Pickled Vegetables
- Jams/Jellies (Kraft Foods)
- Preparing and Canning Poultry, Red Meats and Seafoods
- USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning 2015
- So Easy to Preserve
Preserve the Harvest Fact Sheets
Everything you need to know about preserving - varieties, drying, freezing, and canning!
- Maraschino Cherries
- Pole and Bush Beans
- Summer Squash
Freezing Fact Sheets
Other Preserving Fact Sheets and Resources
- Avoiding Common (Major and Minor) Canning Mistakes
- Canning Bread or Cake is Unsafe!
- Canning Butter is Unsafe!
- Vegetable Canning Methods in the Pressure Canner
- Home Drying of Foods
- Reduced Sugar & Sugar-Free Food Preservation
- Canning Salsa in a Boiling Water Canner--Generic Recipe
- Getting Crisp Home Pickled Vegetables
- Principles of Boiling Water Canning
- Principles of Pressure Canning
- Cook Surface Precautions for Home Canning
- Pressure Canning Hydrated Wheat
- U.S.U. Steam Canning—Position Statement
- Canning Gauges —Important Announcement
- Hazardous Food Preservation and Storage Advice
- Boiling Water Canning Lemon or Lime Curd
- Utah Home Food Preservation Update
University of Georgia Fact Sheets
- Bread and Butter Pickled Jicama
- Cantaloupe Pickles
- Easy Hot Sauce
- Chayote and Jicama Slaw
- Chayote and Pear Relish
- Cranberry Orange Chutney
- Cayenne Pepper Sauce
- Lemon Curd, Canned
- Mango Chutney
- Mango Salsa
- Mango Sauce
- Peach Apple Salsa
- Pickled Asparagus
- Pickled Baby Carrots
- Pickled Carrots
- Pickled Yellow Pepper Rings
- Pickled Jalapeño Rings
- Pickled Pearl Onions
- Spicy Jicama Relish
- Spicy Cranberry Salsa
- Tangy Tomatillo Relish
- No Sugar Added Cantaloupe Pickles
- No Sugar Added Pickled Beets
- No Sugar Added Sweet Pickle Cucumber Slices
- Mango Leather
- Lemon Curd, Freezer
Meat & Poultry Hotlines
USDA Meat & Poultry
(800) 535-4555 or (888) 674-6854 Eastern Time, Monday through Friday. Closed weekends and holidays, except Thanksgiving. Special hours of operation on Thanksgiving are 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Eastern Time.
Reynolds Turkey: 800-745-4000
Butterball Turkey: 800-288-8372
Pie Help Hotlines
Crisco Pie Hotline (877) 367-7438
Provides answers to the most common questions about baking pies for novice bakers as well as offering tips that will benefit the most seasoned baker. The hotline also offers the option for callers to connect to a live pie expert for pie baking guidance. Hours: 9 - 7 EST except for: Nov. 12 - 21 (8 a.m. - 8 p.m. EST) and Dec. 12 - 22 (8 a.m. - 8 p.m. EST).
Land O' Lakes Holiday Bakeline (800) 782-9606
Available through Dec. 24 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., CST, 7 days a week.
Betty Crocker (888) ASK-BETTY (888-275-2388)
Open 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. CST weekdays; staffed year-round
Fleischmann's Yeast Baker's Help Line (800) 777-4959
Weekdays, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. CST Year round advice for bread bakers.
Holiday Bake Line (800) 782-9606
Nov. 1 to Dec. 24 - 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Have a food safety or preservation question?
Our experts are here to help!
1. Submit an online inquiry.
2. Email your inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org
3. Call our helpline at 385-468-4837
Please note: Summer and fall are our busy seasons. Please be patient if we don't answer immediately. If you leave a message, we will get back with you as soon as possible.