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Canning -- Equipment

Why do I need to sterilize my canning jars before packing them with food?

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All canning jars that are to be processed in a boiling water bath canner for less than 10 minutes should be sterilized by immersing in boiling water and boiled for 10 minutes. All jars that are to be processed 10 minutes or longer in a boiling water bath canner do not need to be sterilized. All jars that will be processed in the pressure canner do not need to be sterilized. Jars for any canning process should be washed in the dishwasher or in hot water with detergent and rinsed well before use.

PREPARED BY: Angela M. Fraser, Ph.D., Associate Professor/Food Safety Specialist, and Carolyn J. Lackey, Ph.D., R.D., L.D.N., Professor/Food and Nutrition Specialist, North Carolina State University (August 2004)

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