Andrew Petty did an excellent job of highlighting jarring as a method of food preservation in the article, "Putting the lid on salmon jarring," Sept. 3. I'd like to expand on some of the information covered.
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As pointed out in the article, bacteria are the biggest concerns in home canning. For safety, heat home-canned fish before eating. Bring the internal temperature of the fish to 185 degrees Fahrenheit. Allow the jar to stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes, to let the heat distribute evenly. Serve the fish hot or chill for later use. Never taste or use canned food that shows any sign of spoilage, such as bulging lids, leaking jars, spurting liquid when the jar is opened, off odors or molds. When home canning, it's important to reference current processes and guidelines to ensure food safety. According to the latest research conducted by the Cooperative Extension Service, pint and half-pint jars of fish should be processed for 100 minutes at 11 pounds of pressure when using a dial gauge (10 pounds of pressure when using a weighted gauge). At altitudes above 1,000 feet, check with the local extension agent for recommended times and pressures. Information on canning using quart jars and cans is now available at the Cooperative Extension Service office located in the Vintage Business Park. These publications are free, so now is a good time to update your home canning resources.