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Food preservation and canning troubleshooting guide

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Why didn't the lid seal? How do I keep my peaches from floating? Many problems with home canned products can be traced to use of other-than-recommended canning equipment or procedures. Current food preservation fact sheets and publications are available from the National Center for Home Food Preservation website.

If you are using recipes and/or procedures written before 1994, you are using outdated materials. For safety's sake, please update your methods.

Checking your equipment and reviewing current canning recommendations can go a long way towards preventing potential problems. This "troubleshooter's guide" may help you determine the cause of the problem and how you can prevent it from happening again.

Common problems


Carol Ann Burtness, Extension educator; Deb Botzek-Linn, former Extension educator; and Suzanne Driessen, Extension educator

Reviewed in 2018

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