Here are safety tips for preserving from the Alltrista Corp., marketers of Ball brand home canning products:
Jams, jellies, conserves, preserves, fruit butters and marmalades should be sealed with two-piece vacuum lids and then processed by water-bath canning. Do not seal with paraffin. Paraffin seals are not recommended by the USDA because they do not maintain a proper seal and are not heat processed, a necessary step that kills the microorganisms that could cause spoilage.
Old-fashioned jars and commercial jars, such as those from commercially canned mayonnaise and jellies, should not be used for home canning. Outdated jars cannot be fitted with the recommended two-piece vacuum caps, and most commercial jars may not withstand the temperatures used in home canning. Scratched or nicked jars also need to be avoided as they can cause breakage when the jar is heated.
The use of jars sealed with rubber rings and those sealed with a rubber ring and a glass-and-wire lid also are not considered safe for canning because there is no way to determine if the closure has a safe seal.
Foods should be processed in the boiling water bath immediately after they are packed into the hot jars.
Check the seals when the jars are cool (the center of the lid should be concave); refrigerate any that are not properly sealed. Store the sealed jars in a cool, dark place.
Pub Date: 8/07/96