Public Sector Sources for Home Canning Information
USDA Complete Guide
The primary resource in the public sector for home canning information is the USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning, 2015 revision.
It is available in:
For your download and e-reader convenience, here is a merged copy of the PDF chapters, which will work on e-readers such as Kindle, iPad, etc. (Regretfully we cannot provide assistance on how to use e-readers.)
Inaccurate / incomplete and / or outdated versions of the USDA “Complete Guide to Home Canning” are being sold on Amazon.com. Some of those cost a bit less than the $15.00 price of the official version (link above), so some home food preservers might see it as a bargain. Concerns include the following:  Food Safety Updates Section. In: Wellness Ink newsletter. Master Food Preserver Volunteer Program of OSU Extension Service. June 2011, page 5. Accessed March 2015 at https://extension.oregonstate.edu/coos/sites/default/files/FFE/documents/wellnessinkjun2011.pdf
- The title has been altered to read, “Complete Guide to Home Canning and Preserving”, dropping mention of the USDA;
- The cover has photos of foods and procedures that are not representative of USDA recommendations, such as food in types of canning jars that are recommended against;
- The eight-page introduction is missing, which means no botulism caution, no reminder to adjust for altitude and no table of contents.
Only Purdue is authorized to sell a printed version.
Elizabeth Andress, head of the National Center for Home Food Preservation, says:
I really recommend that you invest the money and get the version from Purdue… I will let you know that at various times I have seen other publishers try offering this through amazon.com but I haven’t seen one yet that is the complete publication, so if you want it, I really recommend you invest the money and get the version from Purdue, that is the only version the USDA has authorized at this point in time to handle the sale of the print for that.”  Andress, Elizabeth. “History, Science and Current Practice in Home Food Preservation.” Webinar. 27 February 2013. At 1:24. Accessed January 2015 at https://nchfp.uga.edu/multimedia/video/nchfp.wmv
From the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) there is this food pH resource: Approximate pH of Foods and Food Products. April 2007.
National Center for Home Food Preservation (NCHFP)
The USDA created the NCHFP to do some limited research (as funding grants permit), and to “provide guidance on home canning that is grounded in science.”  Harris, Linda J. and Sheryl Yamamoto. Master Food Preserver Slide Presentation. University of California Cooperative Extension. 9 October 2014. Accesssed June 2015 at https://ucanr.edu/sites/ucmg2014conference/files/200476.pdf. Page 36
American Universities and University USDA Extensions
Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service: Food Preservation
Georgia: So Easy to Preserve (preserving food guide). University of Georgia, 6th edition, 2014. Downloadable order form. Not available on line. You can also order accompanying tutorial DVD’s at additional cost.
Minnesota: University of Minnesota Canning Resources
Oregon Extension Service: Food Preservation Fact Sheets. https://extension.oregonstate.edu/fch/food-preservation and https://extension.oregonstate.edu/community/food-preservation
Penn State Extension: Safe Home Food Preservation Methods.
Wyoming Extension: Educational Resources – Food Preservation
Private Sector Sources
The Presto Pressure Canner manual is considered reliable.
Jarden is the owner of Ball, Bernardin and Kerr canning supplies companies. The three sister companies share resources, inventory and knowledge.
- Ball Blue Book
- Ball / Bernardin Complete Book of Home Preserving (produced by Bernardin)
- Bernardin Guide to Home Preserving
Bernadin, like Ball, maintains its own safety test labs and personnel.  “There is a Home Economist on staff “https://www.bernardin.ca/pages/faq/33.php#50
While Americans won’t be familiar with Canadian Living, the company is a good bonus source of tested, safe canning recipes that are refreshing different from Ball and USDA in flavours, etc. Canadian Living works closely with Jarden / Bernardin in developing and testing their canning recipes according to USDA standards, and tests each recipe for safety including pH levels in its test kitchens.
In print: Canadian Living Test Kitchen. The Complete Book of Preserving. Montreal, Canada: Transcontinental Books. 2012.
Note: despite the book’s “Complete” title, it contains no pressure canning recipes.
Online: Pomona’s Pectin Recipes
In Print: Duffy, Allison Carroll. Preserving with Pomona’s Pectin. Beverly, MA: Fair Winds Press. 2013.
History and Theory of Home Canning
To study the history of the evolution of home canning practice and recommendations from the 1900s to today, consult: Andress, Elizabeth L and Gerald Kuhn. Critical Review of Home Preservation Literature and Current Research. Athens, GA: University of Georgia, Cooperative Extension Service. 1998.
Ressources en français pour les conserves maison (French resources)
Forum des conserves maison. Écrit par Vincent le canneux, le blog semble être un site responsable suivant méthodes modernes de mise en conserve et les pratiques de l’USDA. ( Written by Vincent le canneux, the blog appears to be a responsible site advocating safe, up-to-date canning methods and USDA practices. ) « Les États-Unis sont vraiment des pionniers avec les informations pertinentes et scientifiques sur les conserves maison. C’est le USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) qui a vulgarisé les conserves domestiques, depuis la ‘Grande Dépression’ autant qu’en propagande de guerre.»  Vincent le Canneux. Le Forum des Conserves Maison. Poste le 14 octobre 2013. < https://www.conserves-maison.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=3886 > (mars 2015)
Vidéos éducatives de Bernardin
Le grand livre des conserves Bernardin
References [ + ]
|1.||↑||Food Safety Updates Section. In: Wellness Ink newsletter. Master Food Preserver Volunteer Program of OSU Extension Service. June 2011, page 5. Accessed March 2015 at https://extension.oregonstate.edu/coos/sites/default/files/FFE/documents/wellnessinkjun2011.pdf|
|2.||↑||Andress, Elizabeth. “History, Science and Current Practice in Home Food Preservation.” Webinar. 27 February 2013. At 1:24. Accessed January 2015 at https://nchfp.uga.edu/multimedia/video/nchfp.wmv|
|3.||↑||Harris, Linda J. and Sheryl Yamamoto. Master Food Preserver Slide Presentation. University of California Cooperative Extension. 9 October 2014. Accesssed June 2015 at https://ucanr.edu/sites/ucmg2014conference/files/200476.pdf. Page 36|
|4.||↑||“There is a Home Economist on staff “https://www.bernardin.ca/pages/faq/33.php#50|
|5.||↑||Vincent le Canneux. Le Forum des Conserves Maison. Poste le 14 octobre 2013. < https://www.conserves-maison.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=3886 > (mars 2015)|