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MissouriFamilies.org - Food Safety

 

Food Safety Quick Answers

Topics include:
Storing Food Safely, Canning, Freezing, Food Poisoning, Safe Microwave Cooking, Thawing

 

Why have chicken breasts increased in size so much in the past years? Is it due to hormone use?

 

What type of cutting board is best?

 

Should I wear gloves when doing a food demo?

 

Is it safe to cook an entire chicken or large piece of meat in a slow cooker?

 

Is it safe to cook in unlined copper pots? How about using copper cookie cutters for cookies?

 

Is it safe to eat food imported from Japan right now in the wake of the earthquake disaster and concerns about radiation exposure?

 

What is the best way to freeze oranges? Can I just wash, peel, and slice and put in freezer bags for use later?

 

Can I get swine flu (H1N1 virus) from eating pork?

 

How can I continue to eat healthy food during an emergency or when the power goes out?

 

Can you freeze food that has been prepared after the original frozen food has been thawed, prepared, cooked and cooled?

 

I blanched some corn and cut it off the ear. However, I forgot to put it in the freezer. It was out all night. I also left out a couple of ears that I cooked to eat. Are these still safe to eat or does corn spoil if left out?

 

What should I consider when sending perishable items as gifts?

 

I have heard that ingesting the artificial sweetener, aspartame, causes headaches, epilepsy, brain tumors and other illnesses. I regularly eat foods and drink diet soft drinks containing aspartame. Is this something I need to be concerned about?

 

How long can I keep meat in my freezer?

 

Do you have any guidelines for storing fruits and vegetables in root cellars?

 

Do you have any guidelines for storing foods in the cupboard?

 

Do you have any guidelines for storing foods in the freezer?

 

Do you have any guidelines for storing foods in the refrigerator?

 

How should yeast be stored?

 

What is the best method for storing herbs and spices and how long can they be stored?

 

How long will baking powder keep?

 

What is the correct temperature for a refrigerator?

 

How do you harvest and store home grown peanuts?

 

How should peanut butter be stored?

 

How should fresh nuts like pecans and walnuts be stored?

 

How long can you keep uncooked poultry and/or fish refrigerated?

 

Can bread be frozen to lengthen its storage life?

 

How should flour be stored?

 

How should bread be stored?

 

What is the best way to store sweet potatoes?

 

How do you harvest and store garlic?

 

What is the best storage temperature for apples?

 

Should fresh eggs be kept in the carton in the refrigerator?

 

How long can hard-cooked eggs be stored in the refrigerator?

 

Can fresh eggs be stored at room temperature?

 

How should Easter eggs be handled so they are safe to eat?

 

What's the proper way to package and store cheese?

 

Is is safe to eat potatoes when the skin and/or flesh are greenish in color?

 

I am a deep sea fisherman, I catch tuna and albacore, have been canning them for about 10 years. I have had several suppliers over the years but now I am finding them very hard to find. When I do find a manufacturer they sell in car load lots only, and I buy 3 or 4 thousand at a time.  Do you know where I could find this type of supplier?

 

How do you cook fresh pork?

 

How do you prepare ratites?

 

How do ratites compare nutritionally to other meats?

 

What are ratites?

 

How do you roast a turkey?

 

How do you prepare giblets?

 

What are giblets?

 

What is E. coli O157-H7 and how can I keep food safe from it?

 

From what cuts of meat are ground beef made?

 

How do you prepare corned beef?

 

How do you safely prepare beef?

 

How do I know what cut of beef to buy?

 

What is fat marbling?

 

What does the grade mean when purchasing beef?

 

How do you safely prepare hot dogs?

 

Should I throw away a food after the date expires even if it appears safe to eat?

 

Why do I have to take temperatures of the foods I cook? Why can't I just look at the color of the meat?

 

Why are meats more of a concern for food safety than other foods?

 

How can I safely prepare fruits and vegetables?

 

Why is it harmful to thaw frozen foods on the countertop?

 

What are the proper temperatures for my refrigerator and freezer?

 

Why shouldn't I taste a sample of cookie dough before baking it?

 

What is Salmonella?

 

How do I safely marinate meats?

 

My family travels often and we like to use antibacterial gels to keep our hands sanitized. Are these products effective?

 

I left out a casserole all afternoon by accident. Won't reheating the dish kill food borne bacteria?

 

How can I make sure my meat is fully cooked?

 

What food safety precautions should I take in my home kitchen?

 

I am searching for a quality recipe for rosehip jelly. Is there a viable Missouri recipe?

 

My mother used to make homemade grape jelly and juice, and I was unable to get her recipe before she passed away. Could you supply me with some recipes I could use?

 

We pulled about two gallons of grapes off the vine. I ran them through a juicer and put the juice into gallon jars, sealed them and put them in the refrigerator. The next morning, we opened the fridge and found that it had fermented and ran all over. Can I still make jelly out of this or do I throw it away? Why did this happen? What did I do wrong?

 

I am looking for a salsa recipe called tantalizing tomatoes. Can you help me?

 

I know green beans should be pressure cooked to can. But is there a recipe to use a water bath instead?

 

Is there a way to make lactose free yogurt and/or cottage cheese? Will it work with lactose free milk?

 

What is the state's position with regards to the sale of perishable items that have past their coded expiration date? In addition, what are the obligations of a merchant to keep items that are clearly marked "Must be refrigerated" under refrigeration? Beyond the ethical difficulties involved, does placing a shopping cart proclaiming "priced as marked" and filled with packages of margarine two to six months beyond the coded expiration date, and at room temperature, present any kind of health violation in the State of Missouri?

 

I am looking for a recipe for canning pumpkin butter. Do you have any?

 

I have a few quarts of chokecherry juice we canned earlier. I need a recipe to make chokecherry jelly from this juice. Would you know where I may find one?

 

How many botulism cases cause death per year?

 

I am looking for recipes on how to can garlic. I do not want to pickle it. I've heard you can "float" it in oil and process it, but am unsure if this will work. Would you be able to help me?

 

I have a vacuum sealing machine. Will the bags work for freezing green tomatoes?

 

I have jelly recipes that do not call for pectin. I would like to try these with pectin. How do I know when to use liquid or powder pectin?

 

I know that for my area, that I should process my meat at 11 pounds for 90 minutes, but, I have a friend that processes her meat at 15 pounds for 45 minutes, and gets twice as much done as I do, and has never had a problem.  What are the rules for increasing pounds of pressure to decrease the processing time?

 

I noticed that a label on some wheat flour has benzoyl peroxide as an ingredient. Why is benzoyl peroxide a component of wheat flour?

 

How long do I blanch my vegetables?

 

What is blanching and why is it a must?

 

Can I preserve water for emergency use by canning it? How long can I keep it?

 

All the jar rings were loose when I removed my canning jars from the canner. I tightened them all. When I went to store the jars, I noticed that none of them had sealed. What happened?

 

I purchased a copy of the new USDA canning publication, the "Complete Guide to Home Canning," and I noticed that it does not contain some of the recipes that were in the old USDA publications and in some of the old University Extension guidesheets, like hominy and some of the sweet spreads and pickled products. Can I still use the old recipes?

 

Can a microwave oven be used for home canning?

 

What is freezer burn?

 

What makes canning lids seal?

 

What should I do if the lids seal before I get the jars into the canner for processing?

 

Is it alright to freeze meat in the package in which it was purchased?

 

Can I use cottage cheese cartons for freezing?

 

What is the best storage temperature for home-canned foods?

 

I plan to do some canning while we are camping this summer using my camp stove. Is this alright?

 

I recently bought a pressure canner with a weighted gauge. I think something is wrong with the gauge because it won't jiggle even after I vent it for ten minutes. Could it be broken?

 

Can fruits be frozen without sugar?

 

How often should I oil the gasket on my pressure canner?

 

I had my pressure canner dial-gauge checked and it read one pound high. Do I need to replace it?

 

My pressure saucepan is only equipped with a gauge for controlling pressure at 15 pounds. Can I use it for home canning?

 

Can a pressure canner be used on a smooth top range?

 

How do you can clams?

 

How do you can crab?

 

My home-canned foods were covered by flood water. How can I clean them?

 

Is it alright to can smoked fish?

 

Can steak, chicken or other meats be coated in flour or crumbs before canning?

 

Can fresh pork sausage be canned?

 

My garden was covered with flood water. Is it alright to can the produce?

 

Can I can chili at home?

 

I have made a large batch of mincemeat for the holiday season. Is it safe to store it in a crock in the cupboard?

 

I canned my green beans using Missouri Cooperative Extension's recommendations, but when I removed the jars from the canner, their skins were blistered. What went wrong and are they safe?

 

How long can I store ascorbic acid powder?

 

I canned green beans in a water bath canner. Won't any toxin be destroyed if I boil them for 10 minutes before serving?

 

Can I heat home-canned low acid foods in the microwave for several minutes before tasting instead of the usual 10 minutes on my range?

 

I found brown and black deposits on the underside of the canning lid when I opened a jar of home canned food. Is the food safe to eat?

 

I have found that some of my home-canned food is spoiled. How can I safely dispose of it and clean the jars?

 

I'm moving out West and I'll be taking many home-canned foods with me. Will I have any problems with jar seals when I move them to a higher elevation?

 

Why can't I process food at 10 lbs pressure in my dial gauge canner, instead of 11 lbs pressure, if I live between 0 and 1000 feet of altitude? I notice that it's alright to can in a weighted gauge canner at 10 lbs pressure if you live between 0 and 1000 feet.

 

Is it necessary to exhaust jars before canning meat, fish or poultry?

 

Why must vegetables and tomato vegetable mixtures be processed in a pressure canner?

 

What temperature is reached inside a pressure canner at 10 pounds pressure?

 

How much water should you put in the bottom of a pressure canner?

 

Why must low acid foods be processed under pressure?

 

The outside of my jar of food is moldy. Is the food alright?

 

What could happen if a pressure canner is not vented properly?

 

How long should I wait after processing to test lids for seal?

 

How can I tell if a lid is sealed?

 

Can I use a salt substitute to can vegetables?

 

Can I use table salt when canning vegetables?

 

Is it safe to reprocess fish if the jars do not seal?

 

Can food be reprocessed if it was incorrectly processed or if lids failed to seal?

 

I processed green beans in a boiling water bath about a week ago. My neighbor told me I should have used a pressure canner. Would it be alright to reprocess the beans now in a pressure canner?

 

When I can two layers of pints in my pressure canner, what time should I use?

 

When I can two layers of jars of vegetables in my pressure canner, like peas and carrots, what time should I use?

 

How much food should I can to last till next summer?

 

How do you vent a pressure canner?

 

Is it necessary to vent a pressure saucepan?

 

Can I process pint jars of food in a pressure saucepan?

 

How do I know how long to process foods packed in half pint and one-and-one-half pint jars?

 

I want to can "mixed" vegetables. How do I decide on the processing time?

 

Can bacon be safely added to green beans when canning them?

 

I know it isn't safe to can frost-bitten tomatoes because their acidity decreases. What about canning other frost-bitten vegetables?

 

Do root crops like potatoes, beets and carrots have to be peeled before canning?

 

Is it safe to can strained vegetables and meats?

 

I've heard that if aspirin is added to home-canned vegetables no processing is needed?

 

What are the yellow crystals that sometimes form in canned asparagus?

 

How do you can baked beans?

 

I have some green beans that were canned 5 years ago; are they still alright to eat?

 

How many hours should I process green beans using the boiling water method?

 

How long should French cut green beans be processed?

 

How do you can "shell out" or horticulture beans?

 

Can home canned beans be used for bean salad?

 

Is it possible to can bean salad?

 

What causes beets to fade during processing?

 

What causes jars to break?

 

Where should hot jars from the boiling-water canner or pressure canner be set to cool?

 

What causes a black color in home-canned beets?

 

How do I can cabbage? I don't want to make sauerkraut.

 

How do you can chili peppers?

 

What causes corn to turn brown during processing?

 

How long should creamed corn in quarts be processed?

 

Why is it unsafe to can cream-style corn in quart jars?

 

How do you can corn-on-the-cob?

 

How do you can mixed vegetables?

 

How do you can mushrooms?

 

Is it alright to let jars cool in the water they were processed in?

 

How do I can onions?

 

Can snow peas be canned?

 

Should sugar snap peas be canned in their pods?

 

How do you can pimentos?

 

How do I can mashed pumpkin?

 

How do you can salsify?

 

Why is it recommended to pack spinach and other greens loosely in canning jars?

 

How do you can spaghetti squash?

 

What is the method for canning strained squash?

 

Don't you think it would be okay for me to go ahead and use the old canning guidesheets (before 1989)? No one has gotten sick yet?

 

How do you can succotash?

 

I need directions for the dry pack for sweet potatoes.

 

Can a boiling-water canner be used to process stewed tomatoes containing onion and celery?

 

Can half gallon jars be used for canning?

 

Can I refreeze foods that are partially or completely thawed?

 

I just purchased a steam canner. The instructions say it can be used to can acid foods like fruit and pickles. Is this safe?

 

What is a boiling-water canner?

 

I have no boiling-water canner. Can I use my pressure canner, unsealed, for a boiling-water canner?

 

Why does my fruit turn dark after processing?

 

Why do berries, fruits, and tomatoes float from the bottom of the jar?

 

I sometimes find hard white deposits in my home-canned pureed tomato products. Is this a sign of spoilage?

 

What causes my jars of fruit to lose liquid when I process them?

 

There is mold on the surface of my home canned tomatoes and applesauce. Is it alright to remove the mold and use the food?

 

Some of the foods I canned in the boiling-water canner spoiled. Why?

 

I am going to be canning peaches soon. What is the best method of keeping them from darkening during preparation for canning?

 

Can fruit be canned with artificial sweeteners?

 

When processing in a boiling-water canner, is it alright to allow jars to cool in the water?

 

Why is a hot pack recommended for large fruits, like apples, peaches and pears?

 

Is it alright to use honey or corn syrup for canning fruits?

 

Can aspartame (Equal) be used to can fruits?

 

Can I pressure can fruit?

 

When you process foods in a boiling-water canner, when should you start counting the processing time?

 

My home canned fruits are rather soft and mushy. Would it be safe to reduce the processing time?

 

Why are no times given for raw pack processing of some fruits?

 

Why should fruits be sorted according to size before processing?

 

All my recipes for canning fruit call for a heavy, medium or light syrup pack. I want to use a "very light" syrup. Can you give me directions?

 

What can be done to prevent air from being trapped in the cavities of peaches and pears prior to processing?

 

Why can acid foods like fruits be safely processed in a boiling-water canner?

 

I canned green beans using the new canning guidelines, however, I processed them at ten pounds pressure on my dial-gauge canner instead of 11 pounds. Is my food safe to eat?

 

In a boiling-water canner, how far over the tops of the jars should the water be?

 

Is it alright to can unpeeled fruits?

 

Can I safely can fruits without sugar?

 

How do you can apple cider?

 

How do you can spiced apple rings?

 

The applesauce I canned last year got moldy on top. I've heard there are new directions on canning applesauce?

 

My home-canned applesauce has an aluminum taste. Is this harmful?

 

Can cantaloupe be canned?

 

How do you can spiced crab apples?

 

How do you can figs?

 

How do you can fruit cocktail?

 

Can thickened fruit pie fillings be canned at home?

 

Is it necessary to process fruit juice?

 

How do you can grapefruit and oranges?

 

Is it alright to can whole, unpitted peaches?

 

Can peanut butter be canned?

 

Why are home canned pears sometimes gritty?

 

When should pears be picked for processing?

 

My canned pears have turned slightly pink. Are they safe to eat?

 

Why is headspace important in canning?

 

How do you can pineapple?

 

How do you can rhubarb?

 

How much lemon juice or citric acid should I use when canning tomatoes?

 

I have been told it is no longer considered safe to can tomato sauce or paste with vegetables added in a boiling-water canner?

 

I have heard that it is unsafe to can overripe tomatoes?

 

I canned my tomatoes in a pressure canner. Is it necessary to boil them before serving?

 

I've been told that to can tomatoes safely, you must add acid?

 

How do you can yellow tomatoes?

 

Many of our tomatoes have white pitted areas under the skin. What causes this and is it safe to can these tomatoes?

 

Why is the processing time in a boiling-water canner for tomatoes canned with tomato juice or with no liquid added so much longer than for tomatoes canned in water?

 

Can vegetables be raw (cold) packed?

 

I don't understand why the processing times for tomatoes are so long. Aren't they an acid food?

 

I know tomato skins should be removed before canning as they become tough. However, if you don't mind the toughness, skins could be left on as they don't affect the pH (acid level). Would removing the skins lower the number of bacteria present?

 

Why does home canned tomato juice usually separate?

 

What causes a flat sour taste in home canned tomato juice?

 

Is the blending of tomatoes in a blender an acceptable way to make tomato juice?

 

How do you can "V-8" juice?

 

Why won't my homemade tomato ketchup thicken even though I cooked it for hours?

 

I have had trouble with home canned ketchup and tomato sauce spoiling even though I processed them for the recommended times. What did I do wrong?

 

I have a hard, white material like "fish scales" in my homemade ketchup. Is it safe to eat?

 

How do you make ketchup in a blender?

 

What is the advantage of hot packing home-canned foods?

 

Can tomato products like salsa, chili sauce, tomato paste, tomato relish, etc., be canned in a boiling-water canner?

 

How do you can salsa?

 

Is there a safe procedure for making zucchini-pineapple at home?

 

Can I freeze cakes?

 

Can I freeze cookies?

 

Can I freeze homemade, deep fat fried doughnuts?

 

What is the best thickener to use when freezing fruit pies?

 

Should I freeze pie crust baked or unbaked?

 

What kind of pies freeze well?

 

How should I freeze quick breads?

 

Are the old glass top jars with metal bails safe to use?

 

I saw a video by the makers of freezer bags that showed how to draw out the air from a freezer bag using a soda straw. Is this a good idea?

 

How can I preserve the color of fruits like apples and peaches in frozen unbaked pies?

 

Can I freeze unbaked yeast bread, coffeecakes or rolls?

 

How should I freeze yeast bread?

 

Will flavorings in casseroles be affected by freezing?

 

Do casseroles freeze well?

 

What is the best way to reheat frozen stews and creamed dishes?

 

Can I freeze flour thickened sauces?

 

Is there any way to prevent crumb and cheese toppings from getting soggy due to freezing?

 

Can I freeze creamed dishes?

 

Can I freeze fish dishes?

 

Can I use my oven to process food?

 

Is it possible to freeze quiche?

 

How should I freeze soups?

 

How should stews be frozen?

 

Can natural cheese be frozen?

 

Can processed cheese be frozen?

 

Can cottage cheese be frozen?

 

Can cream be frozen?

 

Can cream cheese be frozen?

 

Can margarine be frozen?

 

Is it possible to process two layers of jars in the canner at one time?

 

Can milk be frozen?

 

Can I freeze sour cream?

 

Can yogurt be frozen?

 

Why should the amount of unfrozen food placed in a freezer at one time be limited?

 

How much food can be frozen at one time in a home freezer?

 

Are there some vegetables that do not freeze well?

 

Are there some foods that you should not freeze?

 

How does freezing affect food quality?

 

What difference does it make whether my food freezes quickly or slowly?

 

When should I replace the gasket on my freezer door?

 

What is processing?

 

How close to the wall should I position my freezer?

 

Does a full freezer operate more efficiently?

 

What do I do when my freezer stops?

 

Why do items I freeze get full of ice crystals?

 

My freezer temperature is above 0 degrees F. How will this affect the food stored there?

 

Our freezing compartment of the refrigerator can be kept at 0 degrees F. Is it alright to use it to freeze garden produce?

 

What should the temperature of a home freezer be?

 

What is the recommended freezer storage time for most fruits and vegetables?

 

How long should I store foods in the freezer?

 

I have meat that has been stored in my freezer for four years. Is it still safe to eat?

 

Can I process pints and quarts at the same time in my canner?

 

How do I get rid of odors in refrigerators or freezers?

 

Can coffee cans with plastic lids be used for freezing foods?

 

Can I use ziplock bags for freezer storage?

 

Can I use aluminum foil or waxed paper for freezer wrap?

 

Can I use plastic bags like those at vegetable counters or that contain bread for freezing?

 

Can I use glass jars for freezing foods?

 

Why is it important to package foods for freezing in moisture-vapor-proof or resistant materials?

 

What are moisture-vapor-proof materials and moisture-vapor-resistant materials?

 

Can I use clear adhesive or masking tape to seal freezing paper when wrapping foods?

 

Can I freeze in poultry bags or brown-in bags?

 

I filled all my canning jars with food and sealed them, but I had to run an errand before I processed them. I followed all University Extension directions for heat processing, but now some of my jars are beginning to show signs of spoilage. What did I do wrong?

 

What are "rigid" and "non-rigid" containers which are used for freezing?

 

Fruits that I have frozen become soft and mushy when thawed. How can I prevent this?

 

Is it necessary to wash cranberries before using when they are purchased frozen?

 

Is it necessary to wash fruits, like blueberries, before freezing?

 

Can I freeze cherries with pits left in?

 

How can I preserve all the extra pawpaws I have?

 

What peach varieties do not freeze well?

 

Why use crumpled waxed paper or water resistant paper on top of strawberries?

 

What strawberry varieties do not freeze well?

 

Can I cook frozen meat without first thawing it?

 

Can you give me processing times for metal cans?

 

Is it necessary to rewrap meats purchased at the grocery store before freezing?

 

How do you do a drugstore wrap for freezer storage?

 

What is quick freezing?

 

Why should excess fat be trimmed from red meat before freezing?

 

What is the reason for hanging meat before it is cut and frozen?

 

How do I freeze chops and steaks?

 

Can I freeze cured meats like corned beef, bacon, or ham?

 

Is it alright to freeze a canned ham?

 

Should I freeze ground meat loaves cooked or uncooked?

 

Can I safely stuff a chicken or turkey before freezing it?

 

After I finished processing my green beans in the pressure canner, I went to bed and left them in the canner all night. Are they still safe to eat?

 

My turkey is freezer-burned. What can I do?

 

Is it okay to freeze a whole, cooked turkey?

 

How should I freeze roasts?

 

Can I freeze sandwiches?

 

What is the best way to freeze stew meat?

 

How should I freeze venison?

 

How long should venison be stored in the freezer?

 

Can wild game be frozen?

 

Is it safe to freeze cooked slices of meat or poultry covered with broth or gravy?

 

How can I freeze extra breast milk?

 

If liquid is lost from a jar during processing, should the jar be opened to add more liquid?

 

Can coconut be frozen successfully?

 

Can nutmeats be frozen?

 

Can peanut butter be frozen?

 

Does freezing kill bacteria?

 

How can I keep apples from darkening before freezing?

 

How do I freeze avocados?

 

How do you freeze bananas?

 

How can I prevent berries from sticking together when frozen?

 

Is it possible to freeze melon successfully?

 

How do I freeze persimmons?

 

How can I tell if jars with separate rubber rings are "sealed"?

 

How do you freeze rhubarb?

 

Is it safe to freeze seafood chowder?

 

How should fish be frozen?

 

How should I freeze oysters?

 

How should I freeze shrimp?

 

How should smoked fish be stored?

 

How much boiling water should be used for blanching one pound of vegetables?

 

When should you start to count blanching time?

 

How long should vegetables be cooled in cold water after blanching?

 

Are vegetables frozen without blanching safe to eat?

 

Can I use mayonnaise jars for home canning?

 

How do you make a sugar syrup for freezing fruits?

 

Can vegetables be blanched by steaming instead of by heating in boiling water?

 

Is it necessary to increase times for blanching vegetables for freezing at altitudes above 1000 feet?

 

Will blanching green vegetables in water containing baking soda help them keep their bright green color?

 

Why should vegetables be blanched before freezing?

 

Is it safe to eat vegetables, such as green beans, that were frozen without blanching?

 

What causes a "freezer taste" in vegetables?

 

Do I need to use ice to cool the vegetables after I've blanched them?

 

How can I blanch vegetables in my pressure canner?

 

Are vegetables blanched in steam more nutritious than vegetables blanched in boiling water?

 

When should I use dry sugar pack for freezing fruits?

 

I had spinach turn dark that was stored at the locker plant. The spinach frozen in my home freezer was fine. What caused the difference?

 

How can I prevent vegetables, like green beans, from sticking together?

 

What vegetables are better frozen than canned?

 

How long can I hold vegetables before freezing them?

 

Would freezing cabbage in water help prevent freezer burn?

 

Can cabbage be successfully frozen?

 

How can I prevent frozen cauliflower from turning dark?

 

Can Chinese Cabbage be frozen?

 

What can cause flavor changes in frozen corn-on-the-cob?

 

Why are the blanching times for corn-on-the-cob longer than for cut corn?

 

After processing, I pushed the lid down to make the jar seal. Is this okay?

 

We were very disappointed in the sweet corn we froze last summer. It didn't taste nearly as sweet as the corn we ate fresh.

 

My neighbor always freezes her corn in the husk. This sounds pretty easy. Is it alright?

 

How do I freeze dill?

 

How do you prevent green beans from becoming tough when freezing?

 

Can green beans be frozen in a brine?

 

Why can green peppers be frozen without blanching?

 

Why did the fresh mushrooms that I froze turn black when thawed?

 

Can I freeze okra that I have rolled in meal?

 

Can I freeze olives?

 

Can I freeze onions?

 

Should jars and lids be sterilized before canning?

 

Why can mature onions be frozen without blanching?

 

How do I freeze snow peas?

 

How do I freeze sugar snap peas?

 

How do I freeze homemade french fries?

 

Can I freeze potatoes?

 

How do I freeze baked stuffed potatoes or mashed potato patties?

 

Can I freeze seed sprouts?

 

Can I freeze spaghetti squash?

 

Can I freeze raw tomatoes?

 

Is it alright to sterilize jars for canning with bleach?

 

Can I freeze grated zucchini for use in baked products?

 

Can milk or milk products be dried at home?

 

Can egg whites be dried at home?

 

How should I pretreat berries, like blueberries, before drying?

 

How can fruit leathers be used?

 

What fruits are not suitable for fruit leather?

 

How can I test fruit leathers for dryness?

 

How should fruit leathers be stored?

 

What types of fruits are suitable for drying as leathers?

 

How should I pretreat fruits for drying?

 

What is the correct procedure for sterilizing jars to be used in home canning?

 

Why is it recommended to pretreat fruits before drying?

 

Can I dry peaches in the oven?

 

Can I dry herbs in the sun?

 

How do you dry herbs?

 

How do I dry herbs in a microwave oven?

 

If herbs are dried in a microwave oven, can they catch fire?

 

How do you "refresh" dried fruit?

 

How should dried herbs be stored?

 

How should jerky be stored?

 

What cuts of beef are suitable for jerky?

 

Is it possible to safely can baby food at home?

 

Can I "cure" or dry nuts that are too moist?

 

How do you dry sunflower seeds?

 

What is conditioning?

 

Can you use a convection oven to dry food?

 

Can you dry foods in the microwave?

 

How long do foods take to dry in a kitchen oven?

 

Can I use my oven to dry foods?

 

How should dried foods be treated after drying?

 

How does drying preserve food?

 

Are canned goods that have frozen inside the jar safe to eat?

 

What types of containers can I use for storing dried foods?

 

Where should dried foods be stored?

 

How long should dried fruits and vegetables be stored?

 

How do you pasteurize dried vegetables?

 

How do I steam blanch vegetables to be used in drying?

 

Why should vegetables be blanched before drying?

 

How can I tell when vegetables have completed drying?

 

How do I rehydrate vegetables?

 

How can I use dried vegetables?

 

How do you dry whole hot peppers to hang in the kitchen?

 

How long may canned foods be stored?

 

How do you dry mushrooms?

 

Why don't any of the recipes for jam and jelly have directions for using jars larger than 1-1/2 pints?

 

What is a jelmeter?

 

What is a jelly bag?

 

What can I do to soften freezer jam that is too firm?

 

Can ordinary jams and jellies be frozen successfully?

 

If freezer jelly or jam is too soft, how can you make it thicker?

 

Does freezing berries before making juice for jelly keep it from gelling?

 

Can corn syrup be used instead of sugar in making jams and jellies?

 

Can fruits be frozen and used later to make jams and jellies?

 

How long can I keep unused canning lids before they are unsafe to use?

 

How do you make mulberry jam?

 

Can corn syrup or honey be used instead of sugar in jams and jellies?

 

Can I use commercial canned or frozen fruit juice for jelly making?

 

If you are making jam with liquid pectin, when do you add it?

 

If you are making jam with powdered pectin, when do you add it?

 

What is pectin?

 

How long can powdered or liquid pectin be stored?

 

I have heard that liquid pectin contains sulfite and that it might cause problems for people with asthma. Is this true?

 

I had several boxes of pectin left this summer. How can I keep it fresh for next year?

 

Can I cut down on the amount of sugar a jelly recipe calls for?

 

Can foods be safely processed in half gallon jars?

 

Should screw bands be left on jars of canned foods during storage?

 

What is the function of sugar in jellies and jams?

 

Can I use sweeteners like brown sugar, sorghum, or molasses in jellies or jams?

 

What causes bubbles to form in jelly?

 

What makes jelly cloudy?

 

Why do crystals form in jelly?

 

A hard, white mass has formed on top of my strawberry freezer jam. Is this mold?

 

What causes jelly or jam to darken at the top of the container?

 

What causes jams or jellies to fade?

 

Why does fruit float in jam?

 

How can I prevent foaming when I'm boiling jams or jellies?

 

What makes jelly gummy?

 

Is it alright to use moldy jam?

 

If the first batch of jelly from a particular lot of fruit is too soft, what changes should be made in the next batch?

 

What causes jelly to be too soft?

 

What can be done to make soft jams and jellies firmer?

 

I made strawberry jam, following all the directions in the pectin package. It came out runny.

 

If the first batch of jelly from a particular lot of fruit is too stiff, what changes should be made on the next batch?

 

What makes jelly too stiff?

 

What causes weeping jelly?

 

What makes jelly syrupy?

 

How often should a pressure canner gauge be checked?

 

One jar out of the batch of jelly I made did not gel. The other jars gelled perfectly. What could be wrong with this one jar?

 

What makes jelly tough?

 

Some of my paraffin sealed jellies have come unsealed; they are not moldy. What should I do?

 

What should be done if jams or jellies come unsealed during storage?

 

What is the cooking time for jams and jellies made with either powdered or liquid pectin?

 

How can I tell when jelly made without added pectin is done?

 

Can I double a jam or jelly recipe?

 

I noticed in the directions for the jam I was making that it said if fruit is crushed in a food processor or blender, be careful not to puree. I was wondering why this is a problem?

 

What makes jellies and jams "set-up" or gel?

 

When jellies or jams are sealed with two piece canning lids, how much head space is needed?

 

How should jars be prepared prior to filling with hot jelly or jam?

 

Can canning jars used for jams and jellies be sterilized in the dishwasher?

 

Is it necessary to sterilize canning jars to be used in making jam and jelly?

 

Can I use a blender to extract juice for jelly making?

 

Is it necessary to process jellies and jams in a boiling water bath?

 

Why shouldn't I invert my jars of grape jelly for a few seconds like my recipe describes?

 

If I process my sweet spreads in a boiling water bath, won't that ruin their gel?

 

Is it alright to process sweet spreads in simmering (180 degrees F.) water?

 

Can I make jam or jelly with artificial sweeteners?

 

What are butters?

 

Why can't I cool down my pressure canner with water like I do when I'm using it to cook food?

 

Can a gelatin-set jam be stored at room temperature?

 

What is the difference between jelly and jams?

 

How can I make a "light" or reduced calorie jam?

 

I made some of the new "lite" jam which contains one-third less sugar than regular jam. Should this be stored in the refrigerator or freezer? Or, can it just be covered with paraffin and stored on the shelf like the directions recommend?

 

What is the difference between conserves and marmalades?

 

How should I store uncooked, or freezer jams?

 

Can uncooked, or freezer jam be made without sugar?

 

Is zucchini apple butter or zucchini jam a safe product?

 

What kind of containers should I use for brining pickles?

 

I noticed in your pickling guidesheet that you said large foodgrade plastic buckets are good for brining pickles. Where can I get a large foodgrade plastic bucket?

 

I noticed in your pickling guidesheet that you said a large foodgrade plastic bag could be used within a non-foodgrade container for brining pickles. Where can I find a large foodgrade plastic bags?

 

Can I make pickles in a galvanized washtub?

 

What is the difference between fresh-packed pickles and fermented pickles?

 

What kind of utensils should I heat pickling liquids in?

 

Can I brine pickles in a stainless steel container?

 

How much alum should I add to my pickling solution to be sure my pickles will be crisp?

 

Can artificial sweeteners be used in pickling?

 

Can sauerkraut be made from red cabbage?

 

May I use waxed cucumbers for pickling?

 

Is it alright to pickle "acid-free, burpless" cucumbers?

 

What is the best type of cucumber for making brined (fermented) pickles?

 

Is it alright to make pickles with the extra slicing cucumbers I have in my garden?

 

Can dill seed be substituted for fresh dill?

 

How should I store dill until I am ready to use it in pickling?

 

I used fresh garlic in my pickles and it turned blue. Why?

 

I have a pickle recipe that calls for using grape leaves. Is it safe or necessary?

 

How much lime should I add to my pickling solution to make sure my pickles will be crisp?

 

Can lime purchased at an agricultural supply store be use for pickling?

 

I've noticed that the new "Complete Guide to Home Canning," Agriculture Information Bulletin No. 539, contains recipes for making pickled products containing oil. I've always been taught that oil should not be added to home-canned food because it protects the spores of the bacteria that cause botulism food poisoning.

 

Where can I find recipes for pickles made without salt?

 

Why is it so important to measure salt and water carefully when making brined dill pickles?

 

What kind of salt should I use for pickling?

 

Can ice cream salt be used for pickling?

 

Can I use kosher salt for pickling?

 

Can salt substitutes be used to make pickles for people on a low sodium diet?

 

I have a pickle recipe that calls for cassia. What is it?

 

Can I use powdered spices in pickling?

 

How can I keep leftover pickling spices fresh for next canning season?

 

Can I use brown sugar, corn syrup or honey in pickling fruits and vegetables?

 

Can the amount of sugar in pickle recipes be reduced?

 

I'm having trouble getting the lids to stay tightly closed on my rigid freezer containers.

 

How much vinegar should a fresh pack pickle recipe have in it to prevent spoilage?

 

What kind of vinegar should I use for pickling?

 

Is cloudy cider vinegar safe to use for pickling?

 

Should I use cider vinegar or white vinegar in making pickles?

 

Our water is very hard. Can I use it for pickling?

 

We have a water softener. Should I use "softened water" for pickling?

 

What caused my pickles to taste bitter?

 

Why is my pickled cauliflower pink?

 

What causes pickling liquid to look cloudy?

 

What caused my pickles to turn black? My pan also turned black.

 

The garlic in my pickles turned green. What may have caused this?

 

What causes pickles to be hollow?

 

What should I do if my pickles come unsealed within hours after processing?

 

There is sediment in the bottom of my jars of pickles. Are they safe to eat?

 

What causes pickles to shrivel?

 

What causes soft and slippery pickles?

 

How can I tell if pickles are spoiled?

 

My whole dill pickles spoiled even though I did everything "right". Why?

 

Why should blossoms be removed from cucumbers before pickling?

 

Is it safe to add vinegar to the water in a canner to prevent mineral buildup on canning jars?

 

What can I do to give my pickles a bright green color?

 

How can I keep cucumbers or cabbage in the brine when fermenting?

 

How often should I remove scum from the surface of the brine when making brined dill pickles?

 

Why do fermented pickles have to soak in brine so long?

 

Why should cucumbers be soaked in salt water when making bread and butter pickles?

 

How long can refrigerated pickle products be stored in the refrigerator?

 

I canned my pickles by the open kettle method. Are they safe to eat?

 

Why is processing recommended for all pickle products?

 

Won't processing pickles in a boiling water bath make them soft?

 

Why isn't it necessary to pressure can pickles?

 

How do you can oysters?

 

Can I pressure can pickles?

 

Should jars used for pickles be sterilized?

 

Can pickles be prepared, packed in jars and processed by being set in the sun?

 

Can pickled beets be made with artificial sweeteners?

 

Can eggs be pickled safely?

 

How do you pickle fish?

 

How do you can horseradish sauce?

 

Is it possible to can marinated mushrooms or marinated peppers?

 

How do you can piccalilli?

 

How do I make sun dills?

 

How long should I process fish in quart jars?

 

How do you pickle green tomatoes?

 

How do you can pickled mixed vegetables?

 

How do you pickle zucchini?

 

What is the best cabbage for making sauerkraut?

 

Can I make sauerkraut in a plastic trashcan?

 

I have found a recipe for making sauerkraut in jars that says to pack shredded cabbage into jars, add salt, cover with boiling water, and seal with canning lids. Is this safe?

 

Is it necessary to process sauerkraut made at home?

 

Can I freeze sauerkraut?

 

How can I tell if my homemade sauerkraut is spoiled?

 

What caused my sauerkraut to turn dark?

 

What is the proper method of canning fish?

 

What could have caused my homemade sauerkraut to rot?

 

What caused my homemade sauerkraut to turn pink?

 

What caused my homemade sauerkraut to be soft?

 

How do you can tuna?

 

How do you can pickled pigs feet?

 

Is raw packing of meat products recommended?

 

How should meat be packed in a jar for canning?

 

How tightly should screw bands be put on when closing jars with two piece lids?

 

Should meat be soaked in water before packing in jars to can?

 

Is it alright to can meat that's been frozen?

 

What is the best substance to use to prevent fruits from darkening?

 

Which fruits freeze well without sugar (dry pack)?

 

How do I can milk?

 

Is it alright to can nutmeats using the recipe in the Ball Blue Book?

 

Is it possible to can home developed recipes like soups and stews?

 

How do you can soup?

 

What causes lids to buckle?

 

Should bones be removed from poultry before canning?

 

Should giblets of chicken be canned in the same jar with other chicken pieces?

 

Is botulism the only sickness that results from eating improperly canned foods?

 

Should I add sugar to fruits before freezing?

 

Is there any other way, besides boiling for 10 minutes, to make sure home-canned fish are safe to eat?

 

Do I still need to boil low-acid foods before tasting them?

 

What causes cloudy liquid in canned vegetables?

 

Is it safe to reuse canning lids?

 

Why is liquid sometimes lost from jars during processing?

 

What causes lids not to seal?

 

Is it safe to use the food in a jar that has come unsealed during storage?

 

What causes a lid that sealed to bulge or to come unsealed during storage?

 

How can grape leaves be frozen successfully?

 

I have a large supply of turnips and would like to can them. The only information I can find suggests freezing them rather than canning. Is this the only way or the best way to preserve turnips for a long time?

 

When should I use syrup pack for freezing fruits?

 

My Kiwi trees produced an abundance of fruit this year. I would like to make some kind of jelly or jam from some of the fruit. Is this possible?

 

How much cranberry juice and sugar do I use with one pectin to make cranberry jelly? I have never made it before.

 

I prefer strawberry jam made in the microwave. How long can these spreads (including the butter) be kept in the refrigerator-freezer. What kinds of directions should I give if I give these as gifts?

 

I need to find out how to can Yukon, baby potatoes using the hot water bath method.

 

On a recent trip to the Pacific Northwest I purchased two large cans of clams in juice. I would like to make clam chowder that I can can. I have several good sounding recipes but not sure they're "can-able." Most say not to boil. Some advice would be appreciated. I'm determined somehow to do this!

 

I made yogurt at home and boiled the milk and it worked well. Also, my boyfriend lived in India where all of his friends boiled their milk (which was pasteurized already) before making yogurt. However, on your website and in the directions I received with my yogurt maker, it says not to boil the milk. Why is that? Does it just change the consistency?

 

How do you dry jalapeno chilies?

 

I have some corned silver side that I have defrosted and cooked. Can I freeze the cooked meat again?

 

I picked yellow beans, put them in freezer bags and placed them in the freezer. I did not blanche them, or wash them. Should I eat them, or can they make you sick, since they were not blanched? I have cooked one bag, after rinsing off while frozen and cooking immediately. Is this safe?

 

Today I was talking to a person I work with, and she told me that she has started taking a new herb called Essiac. The actual mixture she is taking contains some other herbs, and the assortment is called "Flor-Essence." She said she has read about Essiac, and that it is supposed to have an affect on, and possibly cure cancer and diabetes. Naturally, I am skeptical, and I was wondering what your view was on this herb.

 

I just received a call from a lady who had just started pressure canning her turnip greens when she experienced a power outage. She said it had just reached correct pressure, when the lights went out. When the power comes back on, would you recommend that she start timing the canning process from the beginning?

 

My Italian mother-in-law used to can eggplant. I was wondering if the process she uses is safe, as she has recently passed away.

 

A woman canned about 60 quarts of pumpkin. She pressure canned it, but it was pureed to about the consistency of applesauce. All the jars sealed. After 3 days several of the jars became unsealed and pumpkin spilled out. After a few more days, more of the jars became unsealed. They did throw the pumpkin away after each occurrence. After storing in their cellar, more jars have become unsealed. After each time they found unsealed jars, they tested the remaining seals to assure they were still sealed. I am concerned about botulism.

 

I am looking for information on Autumn Olives. Can jelly be made with the berry?

 

I followed the directions for quince jelly in the Joy of Cooking. It did not jell correctly. I had already sealed the jars. My question is: What can I do with this jelly now? Can I re-cook it?

 

My family leaves the butter out on the counter. Isn't there any other danger other than rancidity? It doesn't last long, but it just seems really scary to me to leave an animal product out without refrigeration and say it's OK?

 

I was wondering if there are recipes for using frozen fruit for jams or jellies? I picked too much fruit to process all at once, and froze the extra. Now I would like to make some more jam with the frozen fruit.

 

I found some pasteurized and homogenized eggs in my local grocery store. The ingredients statement says they contain sodium phosphate, citric acid and nisin. What are these ingredients? Are they chemicals or natural?

 

My wife purchased several quart size jars with the clear glass lids that are held closed with a galvanized wire bale. We thought these old jars would make attractive gifts. Can these antique jars be safely used to can food?

 

 

 


 

 

Last update: Friday, March 07, 2014

 

 

 


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