Home food preservation is a way to preserve the freshness of homegrown food. While more popular in years past, preserving food at home is still done today. Without factoring in the labor costs, home food preservation can save money compared to commercially preserved foods.
When done properly and safely, home preserved foods are a treat. But when improper practices and unsafe food handling techniques are used, the food can cause foodborne illness.
Recommendations to preserve food at home are based on science. This process is not the place to be creative and make up your own recipes. Doing this can lead to foodborne illness. While the practice of preserving food has existed for thousands of years, the methods have evolved to keep up with today’s food safety issues. Do not use any recommendations for home canning that are older than 1994. Significant changes were made by the U.S. Department of Agriculture at that time to keep canned foods safe.
Want to learn more about preserving your food? We have many resources, including videos, to help you learn about food preservation from the K-State Research and Extension Preserve it Fresh, Preserve it Safe website.
Karen Blakeslee, M.S., K-State Research and Extension Associate, Rapid Response Center Coordinator, and Assistant Director of Kansas Value Added Foods Lab