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General Canning Information

Temperatures for Food Preservation

Temperature(s) Effect
240 to 250°F Canning temperatures for low acid vegetables, meat, and poultry in a pressure canner.
212°F Temperature water boils at sea level. Canning temperature for acid fruits, tomatoes, pickles, and jellied products in a boiling-water canner.
180 to 250°F Canning temperatures are used to destroy most bacteria, yeasts, and molds in acid foods. Time required to kill these decreases as temperatures increase.
140 to 165°F Warming temperatures prevent growth, but may allow survival of some microorganisms.
40 to 140°F DANGER ZONE. Temperatures between 40°F - 140°F allow rapid growth of bacteria, yeast, and molds.
95°F Maximum storage temperature for canned foods.
50 to 70°F Best storage temperatures for canned and dried foods.
32°F Temperature water freezes.
32 to 40°F Cold temperatures permit slow growth of some bacteria, yeasts, and molds.
-10 to 32°F Freezing temperatures stop growth of microorganisms, but may allow some to survive.
0 to -10°F Best storage temperatures for frozen foods.


This document was extracted from the "Complete Guide to Home Canning," Agriculture Information Bulletin No. 539, USDA (Revised 2009).

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