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Canning -- Equipment

Is it safe to use non-standard canning jars to process food at home?

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Commercial containers like mayonnaise and salad dressing jars may be used for home canned products. However, more breakage and seal failures may be experienced, especially if these jars are used in a pressure canner to process foods. It is best to use them for products that are to be processed in a boiling water bath . Jar breakage and seal failures may be greater than with standard canning jars for several reasons: a) jar opening may not be the same size as a standard jar And the canning lid may not sit correctly, b) jar may not hold the same amount as a standard canning jar so the processing time will not be correct, and c) jar has had metal utensils used in it to remove the contents which weakens the jar.

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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