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Ball and Kerr issue changes in canning instructions

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Many home canners were surprised this month when canning companies quietly changed their instructions regarding how to prepare lids for home canning.

The age-old advice from Ball and other canning companies has always been to sterilize the lids in simmering water before use. However, Ball has issued new recommendations regarding how to properly prepare the lids.

They now say:

After many years of research, it was determined that preheating Ball® and Kerr® lids is no longer necessary. The sealing compound used for our home canning lids performs equally well at room temperature as it does pre-heated in simmering water (180 degrees Fahrenheit). Simply wash lids in hot, soapy water, dry, and set aside until needed.

Furthermore, company spokespeople have commented that sterilizing the lids in boiling water can cause sealing failures. While they say that you can still sterilize the lids in water "no warmer than a simmer," they say that simply washing the lids in warm soapy water, rinsing and drying is the best option.

The company weighed in again on their Facebook page after many customers reacted to the news, stating:

We know there have been some recent questions about our canning lids and wanted to clear the air for our fans. After extensive testing by our Quality Assurance Team we have determined that it is no longer necessary to to pre-warm lids before use. If you desire, it is still safe to “simmer” your lids before use however, you should never boil them. To prep lids we recommend simply hand washing them in hot soapy water.

Ball offers their full, current home canning instructions here. Note that Ball now owns the Kerr companies and manufactures their products as well, so the advice is the same for Kerr products.

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