Best Way to Store Home-Canned Food

(Modern – Which is the Correct Way to Store Food Canned at Home in Jars?

  • Rings and Lids on, Side by Side
  • Rings and Lids on, Stacked
  • Lids on with Rings off, Side by Side
  • Lids on with Rings off, Stacked

Answer: Lids on with Rings off, Side by Side. Here’s why…

Canning is a great way to build up a stockpile of food for prepping. This isn’t just a hobby for gardeners, either. There is an endless number of foods that can be preserved using this time-tested method. Soups, salsas, meats, jellies, and even dry pasta are all viable options for canning.

There is, however, one often-overlooked step to canning that could be dangerous

Remove the Rings

When you’re canning food, it’s important to remove the rings from your jar lids after the cans have cooled. Many people skip this step and simply leave the rings on, placing cans into storage as they are.

It’s not surprising that many don’t know the rings should be removed since most canning pictures show them with the rings on. Here are 3 reasons why rings should never be left on jars of canned goods when they’re put into storage:

  1. Rings Can Hide a False Seal. Keeping the rings on your jars can hide a false seal, which can be extremely dangerous. The jar will still look sealed, and when it’s opened, it won’t be obvious when the seal broke.
  2. Rings Can Encourage Mold Growth. Leaving the ring on can lead to mold growth on the jar. While the canning process is underway, food can leak out before the seal forms. The leaked food will then mold out of sight beneath the ring. This mold can break down the vacuum seal, too, compromising the food inside. To combat mold on your jars, once the canned food has cooled, remove the ring and wipe the jar down to ensure no particles are left.
  3. Rings Rust. A rusty ring can be difficult to remove and could inadvertently break the seal as you attempt to remove it. Afterward, it could be difficult to tell when the seal broke.

If the vacuum seal is broken, the food inside the jar will go bad, which could lead to food-borne toxin botulism if consumed. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), botulism can cause paralysis or even death. Worse yet, this toxin doesn’t have a smell or taste, so it is nearly undetectable.

The symptoms of botulism include:

  • Double vision/blurred vision.
  • Slurred speech.
  • Difficulty swallowing and the sensation of a thick tongue.
  • Muscle weakness.

If you suspect the seal’s broken on a canned product, or the jar is cracked, broken, or leaking, throw it out. It’s not worth the risk of botulism to tempt fate and eat the food.

To see the best place to store home-canned food, check out this article.

~Here’s to Your Survival!

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