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Free pressure canner testing available

Aug. 27, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

WAYNE -- Canning is a great way to be able to enjoy local fruits and vegetables all year round.

However, it is important that canning equipment is kept in peak condition to get the most out of your canning efforts. West Virginia University Extension's local offices offer free pressure canner testing in all 55 counties.

"Having a pressure canner tested at a local WVU Extension office allows individuals to help safeguard their canned foods, as well as the hard work and time involved with the canning process," said Litha Sivanandan, WVU Extension food safety and preservation specialist.

A pressure canner that is working correctly not only seals in food flavor, but also allows for the elimination of harmful microorganisms by way of high heat exposure that makes certain that enzymes remain inactive to keep high-quality, safe fruit and vegetable preserves.

"Taking the necessary steps -- like having canners tested -- helps ensure that they are working properly, reducing the chance of food spoilage from faulty equipment," said Sivanandan.

An important test to ensure jar lids are sealed can be used 12 to 24 hours after the canning process. To guarantee a proper seal, the center of the jar's lid should appear concaved or curved downward, and must not move when pushed with a finger. A lid that does not seal is a typical result of a faulty pressure canner.

Don't waste your time or your fruits and vegetables. Get your pressure canner tested for free at the WVU Extension Service Wayne County office, located at 27572 East Lynn Road in Wayne. The office is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

For more information, call 304-272-6839 or go online at http://wayne.ext.wvu.edu/ or check out the Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/wvuwaynecountyextensionservice .

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