Canning workshop registration underway

Published 7:06 pm Wednesday, June 9, 2010

If you don’t think you can, you may not can.

Eight or more individuals are needed for the Canning Workshop to be offered by the Alabama Cooperative Extension System on June 24.

Bridgette Brannon, regional food safety and preservation and preparation agent for the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, said hopes are to have a large number of individuals register for the workshop which will be held from 1 until 3 p.m. on Thursday, June 24 at Cattleman Park.

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“We are encouraging those who are interested to register with the Pike County Extension Office in Troy so that final plans can be made for the Canning Workshop,” Brannon said. “You can register at the office at 306 South Three Notch Street or by phone at 334-566-0985.”

There is no fee for the workshop, which will include a canning demonstration using a pressure canner.

“It’s very important that the lid of a pressure canner is working properly,” Brannon said.

“Foods processed in a pressure canner that is not working properly will be unsafe and can make you very sick. When you can foods, you want to make certain that the foods are processed right and are safe to eat.”

Workshop participants may bring the lids to their pressure canners to be tested to make sure they are working properly.

Brannon said, for the canning demonstration, she will can either beans or tomatoes.

“Probably beans because of their low acid content,” she said.

“Tomatoes have more acid and are less likely to spoil when canned. The pressure and heat kill the bacteria in lower acid foods.”

Some people won’t use pressure canners for fear of “blowing a hole through the roof.”

“That’s a misconception about pressure canners,” Brannon said.

“Today, canners have safety valves and are safe and easy to use.”

Although pressure canning is, generally, the preferred method of canning, Brannon said water bath canning is still used by many.

“I will talk about water bath canning but won’t demonstrate the method,” she said.

“It, too, is a safe method of food preservation. The boiling water will kill most bacteria. You just don’t have the pressure that seals the jars to make sure they are tightly closed and safe.”

The Canning Workshop will include activities to “check” just how much the participants know about canning and also offer canning tips, such as adding lemon juice when canning foods with low acid content for safety’s sake.