Pressure Canning is no longer recommended for safety reasons

What did that title say?

I was reading the February/March 2010 issue of Organic Gardening magazine, in the Letters section, and came across a note signed by Betty Gambill of Winston-Salem, North Carolina: (Emphasis and color are mine.)

Canning Cautions
Please let your readers know that every state has a network of Cooperative Extension officers staffed by agents that they can contact for information about canning [Ask OG, November-January]. They have pamphlets on canning, freezing, and drying. Some even offer classes, and all will answer questions on any problems a person may encounter. The extension office is usually part of a state university.
Also, pressure canning is no longer recommended for safety reasons, and the canner that looks like a baby-bottle sterilizer is no longer recommended. Many online sites offer electric water-bath canners. I got mine more than 10 years ago when I took a canning class from the extension office in Salem, Oregon.

Is this serious? What? Pressure canning is no longer recommended? That’s the first I have heard of this, whether just in North Carolina, the whole USA or anywhere else.

I am guessing that the magazine’s editors either didn’t do their homework on this letter, or that they edited it for length and left out some crucial wording, possibly about new flat glass stovetops.

What do you think? Have you heard anything about this? Would you stop pressure canning just because someone decided to tell you to stop?

8 responses to this post.

  1. Hello, No, I will not stop canning. I can understand the concern the State of N.C. might have as many people do not know the importance of canning correctly and the potential danger. The State Of Florida in most counties offers classes. I took the Food Handling Class. It was a 8 hour class and that time included the test. If you pass you get a license from the state stating the you are certified by the state to handled food safely which also qualifies you for a Manangement Postion in many restaurants. Not all, but some. I would think that with the rise in canning food that each state would offer classes and let people know that if they do not know how to can safely then Freezing is the next best thing. Freezing is very easy and much safer for those who do not understand the precautions that should be taken in Canning.


  2. Surely there was something left out.

    NO I would not stop canning.


  3. Low pH foods need to be pressure canned to prevent spoilage. A steam bath may pasteurize, but not sterilize foods prone to spoilage. I think they may be a bit misguided or don’t eat food that has sat in a pantry for a while.


  4. Posted by Lisa on January 8, 2010 at 9:27 am

    I don’t believe this. Either the author is confused or the article has been cut leaving out critical information. I checked the National Center for home food preservation and they have nothing saying this. See link.


  5. I am starting to wonder if perhaps someone has confused the terms “Pressure Canning” and “Steam Canning.” Steam Canning is no longer recommended for most, if not all, foods.


  6. Yes, I believe it is steam canning that is no longer recommended because it does not create enough heat. Simply getting the jars to seal is not enough to safely can food. Hopefully they will change the article or post a retraction so people are not confused. I still see articles talking about canning using the hot water bath only and that is not a safe practice for low acid foods like vegetables, meat, poultry, fish, soups and stews.


  7. Posted by Sam Jones on April 1, 2010 at 6:26 am

    The latest issue of OG mag made a retraction


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