Skip to main content

Q: I found a canning recipe for an acidified spaghetti sauce on Pinterest. Can I verify it’s safety by testing the pH?

A: Using research-tested recipes for home canning is critical for food safety. The pH is just one part of the equation when canning recipes are developed in research test kitchens. Safe home canning recipes are developed by researchers who repeat the entire recipe preparation and canning process many times to get accurate data. Researchers put microorganisms into the jars to make sure the processing time is sufficient to destroy them. To prevent botulism when home canning, only use and share tested standardized recipes and resources. Also, remember processing times and methods are product specific and not interchangeable from one product to another.

Trusted sources include University Extension websites and publications, the USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning and The National Center for Home Food Preservation website. The So Easy to Preserve book from the University of Georgia is amazing. 
Be sure to look at the date of the resources and choose sources printed from 1994 and beyond. Earlier editions do not have current methods and processes. Using recipes from canning publications or cookbooks dated before 1994 will be under processed. Old family recipes may be outdated and not based on research or the latest science. There are lots of other websites, blogs, videos on the Internet. Make sure they reference research tested recipes or don’t use them. Use credible resources and eliminate food safety worries.

Print Friendly and PDF