Safe Canning This Fall

Pleasant Valley resident Dave Jones cultivates some of the last vegetables of the season.

The beautiful purple beets could last up to a year if they are canned properly.

Reno resident Paige Menicucci is responsible for canning wonderful tomato sauces, all which originated from her own garden.

“And I just wanted to find a way to preserve my food. I had a bunch of kids I needed to feed, and it was much cheaper and a lot better for my family to give them fresh vegetables,” says Menicucci.

There are two ways to can--depending upon what's inside, you can use a large pot and heat the jars and contents to a consistent temperature and seal them.

If the lid makes a popping sound, it's not sealed properly.

If the food is low in acid, you'll need a pressure canner.

And that's why Paige is at the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension office.

Her pressure canner, handed down to her, is probably 50 years old.

She is asking Christina Turner to check if the gauge that measures pressure and heat is working properly.

“There are health safety risks involved if your pressure gauge is not reading proper pressure. Your food could still contain botulism or salmonella the things that can make us sick,” says Turner who is with the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension.

For a $5 fee, the cooperative extension will check your pressure canner's gauge, but also the general condition of the entire system.

They can also refer to you to Presto Industries, which has replacement parts for new and old pressure canners.

The agency will also retest that new gauge once you get it.

Which is what Paige Menicucci says she'll be doing once her new gauge and lid seal arrive at her home in Reno.