Preserving Food for Fair by AndrewBrocklehurst


									One Up on the Competition                        Resources

•   Follow exactly the fair book rules for       Use research tested recipes to be sure your
    each category.                               canned goods are top quality. The following have
                                                 been scientifically tested for safety and quality:
•   Enter items only in established catego-
    ries. Don’t bring an entry for which no      CSU Extension Fact Sheets, Two to four page
    category exists.                             publications that cover food preservation. These
                                                 are available free online or from the La Plata
•   Do not bring an exhibit that has been
                                                 County Extension Office.
    previously entered in the same event.
                                                 So Easy to Preserve, 5th edition. c. 2006.
•   Make sure jars are clean and dry. Sticky
                                                 University of Georgia.
    or dusty jars and jars with signs of old
    labels will be quickly eliminated.           Ball Blue Book of Preserving. Do not use process         SAFE FOOD PRESERVATION
                                                 times in Ball Blue Books published prior to 1994.    METHODS AND TIPS FOR SUCCESSFUL
•   After washing jars, bring jars to the fair                                                              OPEN CLASS ENTRIES
    with new screw bands attached. Make          Complete Guide to Home Canning, United States
    sure bands are not wet or rusty. (Jars       Department of Agriculture, 1994 edition or later.
    should not be stored with bands at
    home.)                                       Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, c. 2006.
                                                 Jarden Corporation.
•   Use standard canning jars with two piece
    lids in standard sizes.                      CSU Extension:
•   Avoid decorative jars, padded lids, or
    fabric covers.                               National Center for Home Food Preservation:
•   Use appropriate headspace called for in
    your recipe directions.                      Jarden Home Brands:
•   Check that there is no foreign matter
    such as stems, seeds, skins in the jar.
•   Liquid should cover the solids in the jar.    CSU La Plata County Extension Agent is
                                                  available to answer food safety and food
                                                  preservation questions:
                                                            Colorado State University
                                                            La Plata County Extension
                                                                    2500 Main
                                                               Durango, Co 81301
                                                                  (970) 382-6461

Entering Competition?                                 Make it Safe                                          Label it Smart
Are you thinking about entering canned or dried       • Follow research tested recipes exactly for          A complete label provides the judge with
goods in competition? Entering your home                processing methods and processing times.            information as to how you canned or dried
preserved food in competition adds excitement           Appropriate altitude adjustments must be            the food. The label must include:
as you prepare the foods. Selecting the “best”          made.
jar in anticipation of a blue ribbon makes the                                                                 Name and variety of food
process fun.                                          • Use the pressure canner to can any low acid
                                                        food—that includes meats, soups, and all               Method of preparation (canned: type
While you cannot predict the quality of your            vegetables except acidified tomatoes and                syrup, style of pack; dried: pretreatment
competition or the unique criteria of each judge,       pickled vegetables.                                     used, if any)
there are some steps you can take to increase
the chances of earning a blue ribbon. First is to     • Acidify tomatoes with bottled lemon juice or           Method of processing (canned: water bath,
appreciate standards of safety and quality.             citric acid before processing either in a boiling       pressure canner—indicate weighted or
                                                        water bath or pressure canner.                          dial gauge; dried: oven or dehydrator)

Safety is the Primary                                 • Process high acid foods in a boiling water             Processing time, altitude and pounds of
Consideration                                           bath canner.                                             pressure (p.s.i.)

You want to use safe preserving procedures            • Processes that are unacceptable and unsafe             Date canned or dried
so that no one becomes ill. Improper processing         include: open kettle processing, oven can-
methods or times can cause the growth of                ning, inversion sealing, paraffin sealing, and                  Sample Label
harmful bacteria that can cause serious illness         meat jerky dried from unsafe meats.
or even death. Not only would this be a problem                                                                Red Haven Peaches in Light Syrup
for fair judges, it could also make your family ill   • Use two piece lids. Remove the screw band
                                                                                                                       August 30, 2007
as they consume other jars you have canned.             for storage, but put a clean screw band on
                                                                                                                          Raw Pack
The judge may open jars of jellies, preserves           the jar to bring it to the fair.                            Boiling Water Canner
and pickled products and may taste. Canned                                                                          40 minutes at 5,000 ft.
vegetables and fruits may be opened in deter-         • Always use standard brand name canning
mining the pressure seal of the product. Many           jars in good condition.
judges will open jars to better examine the           • Recipes are required for all canned and dried
contents inside the jars — especially when              products and must include recipe source.
differences among entries are very small.

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