Safe summer food preservation resources

Great resources available to assist home food preservers in preserving safe food all summer long.

Summer is moving along quickly as we head into the month of August. Gardens have been planted and are growing all around the state. Farm markets are beginning to overflow with summer squash, blueberries, zucchini, beans, peas and onions to name just some of the select Michigan produce now available. As thoughts turn to gardens overflowing with shiny, red tomatoes, bright green peppers as well as lots of other vegetables or the farmers markets filled with fresh produce, remember it is easy to preserve. Why not save some of this fresh, local produce to enjoy all throughout the year?

Canning, freezing and drying are the three main methods for preserving food. The method you choose will depend on what your preferences are as well as whether safe guidelines are available for the particular produce and equipment you have. Food preservation is a science and home food preservers must be sure to properly preserve food or dangerous bacteria can present in the food and cause foodborne illness when jars are opened and food is consumed. This might sound confusing and cause you to think about how you preserve you produce, but luckily there are great resources available to point you in the direction of safe preserved foods. Michigan State University Extension recommends the following resources for safe, research based recipes and resources for preserving food:

Michigan Fresh recently added a new fact sheet summer 2014 on fish, with more meat fact sheets coming soon.

Following the guidance provided at the above resources will allow you to preserve a safe product to enjoy all through the year. It is a great time to start planning for your food preservation now so that you are equipped with safe, research based recipes and the proper equipment you will need when the produce is ready.

For more on home food preservation enroll in MSU Extension’s online home food preservation course.

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