Where to find safe home food preservation recipes and information

Discover where to find the most current research-based home food preservation information.

Many of us enjoy preserving our own food, and following tested preserving methods and recipes will ensure that our food will be kept safe and shelf stable. Bacteria can grow in preserved food if it is improperly canned sometimes you can see the signs of spoilage but many times it is not visible. It is important to follow recipes that provide safe methods when preserving food. Here are some recommended sources that can provide you with valuable information.

One of the most complete resources for home food preservation is available from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).  The USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning is based on research conducted by the National Center for Home Food Preservation in cooperation with USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture. This resource contains research-based, scientific canning principles and recipes on how to achieve safe, high-quality home preserved foods.  This publication is available for free online and can also be purchased as a hard copy book. 

Another reliable resource, one that Michigan State University Extension educators often refer to when answering consumers' home food preservation calls and emails, is So Easy to Preserve. This publication, developed by the University of Georgia Extension, contains research-based information on canningfreezingdryingcuring and smokingfermentingpicklingmaking jam and jelly and safe home food storage as well as frequently asked questions. It is a 375-page book with over 185 tested recipes. It has step-by-step instructions and in-depth information for both new and experienced food preservers.

An up-to-date Ball Blue Book has been a longtime reliable resource for preserving food at home.  It is still a trustworthy resource that has research-based recipes and information.

It is important to stay current with changes in safely preserving food at home. To assist consumers with food safety questions, Michigan State University Extension developed a Consumer Food Safety Hotline. This toll-free number is 877-643-9882 and is managed by the MSU Extension Food Safety Team, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST.  Consumer questions can also be directed through Ask an Expert.  

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