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canning Baby Food

On Wed, 3 Sep 1997, Julie Finnigan wrote:

> I'm also interested in canning information. I have a small 
> over-the-refrigerator freezer section and it fills up really fast. I'm 
> tempted to try canning in the baby food jars, but don't want to poison my 
> baby by doing it wrong. Anyone out there with canning experience who 
> could help? The baby food jars have sort of a rubber seal that looks like 
> it would work.

Canning lids cannot be reused--the rubber seal works once only.  So, you 
could only can in the baby food jars if you can find new lids, which 
seems unlikely.
You could purchase some regular canning jars and lids (pint jars are the 
smallest size I've seen available) and can food into those.  When you 
open the jar, you could refrigerate or freeze the amount remaining in the 
jar.  This doesn't eliminate the freezer problem, but it does reduce it. 

The other question, which I don't know much about, is how well baby food 
lends itself to canning.  My mom only cans acid or sweet things 
(tomatoes, salsa, peaches), because those conditions aren't favorable to 
bacterial growth.  I don't know much about canning sort of average foods, 
but I'm sure if you called Ball (the canning jar company) they'd send you 
a pamphlet.  I think it is possible to can almost anything--I've even 
heard of people canning fried chicken! (Although I don't know why!)

Good luck!
Susan Lehman
UNC-Chapel Hill