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Extension service helps with pressure canning

For a $3 fee, the University of Minnesota Extension office in Douglas County, 720 Fillmore St. in Alexandria, will test pressure canner gauges for home canners. Proper equipment in good condition is required for safely canning low-acid vegetables, meats, poultry and fish.

Two types of canners are available. One has a dial gauge to indicate the pressure inside the canner. The office recommends testing this gauge annually. It needs only the gauge, not the entire canner. The other type of canner has a metal weighted gauge that does not need testing.

If a canner has a rubber gasket, the service advises that it should be flexible and soft, not brittle, sticky or cracked. Any small pipes or vent ports with openings should be clean and open all the way through prior to canning.

For more information, call (320) 762-3890. For general home canning questions, call the University of Minnesota Answer Line at (800) 854-1678.