Safe and Successful Sweet Spread Canning

The only method for safely processing your sweet spreads, as approved by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), is water bath canning (boiling water method or hot water canning). The harmful bacteria and microorganisms living in high-acid foods are destroyed at the temperature of boiling water (212 degrees at 1,000 feet or lower above sea level) by sterilizing the food and vacuum-sealing the jar.

Here are two tips to help you ensure your canning success:

  • Stick with tested recipes. They're alway the best. Don't experiment with different quantities and ingredients in any canning method. Quantity adjustments to your fruit or your sugar can seriously change the acid (pH level) in your food. And if the acidity changes, you may not use the correct home-canning method to produce a safe final product, free from microorganisms.

  • Always practice safe food handling procedures. Complete each recipe, start to finish, without interruption. Any break between cooking to filling the jars and processing them may produce a product of inferior quality and one that may be unsafe for consumption.

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