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Minnesota Farmers' Market Association 

Food Science Library

Whether selling food at a farmers' market or direct from your farm or home, food safety is paramount. Below you'll find links to various science-based articles on food safety. Questions? Email

 Caution: Canning With Fats & Oils The exception to using oils in canning is when the recipe has been scientifically tested—of which there are three.  The USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning includes tested recipes for marinated whole mushroomsmarinated peppers, and pickled three-bean salad.  Each of these recipes includes added acid ingredients (lemon juice, vinegar) as well as preparation steps to ensure adequate acidity of the vegetable.  The amount of oil is small, and the acidity is adequate to control the pH. Follow the recipes exactly. 
Elderberries: beautiful to look at, not for canning Elderberry jam and jelly can be canned safely but only if you follow the recommendations here from the University of Wisconsin.
Freeze-dried foods
    Any bacteria that were present on the raw food product prior to freeze-drying may become active again. The process of freeze-drying does not kill bacteria but rather slows bacterial growth by reducing its ability to access water.

    Fresh, cut fruits in cottage foods

    Fresh or raw, cut fruit is a potentially hazardous food because it requires refrigeration to prevent the growth of bacteria that may cause illness when eaten.

    Listeria & candied and caramel-coated apples 

    Based on research following a multistate foodborne illness outbreaks related to caramel apples, caramel apples with inserted sticks are now deemed a potentially hazardous food.

    Safe Changes & Substitutions to Tested Canning Recipes

    Water activity values of a list of select foods
    Source: (2007)

    MFMA provides services, programs, and leadership that support and promote farmers' markets across Minnesota.

    We envision a community of vibrant, profitable, and professionally managed Minnesota farmers’ markets that:

    Cultivates, nourishes, and inspires a vibrant local foods community;

    provides accessibility to all to local farm fresh foods;

    allows local food producers to thrive and grow.

    Engagement & Inclusion Director: Sina Pleggenkuhle /// /// (612) 695-6587 

    Local Foodshed Database Manager: Maeve Mallozzi-Kelly /// /// (574) 310-5553

    Executive Director: Kathy Zeman /// /// (507) 664-9446 

    Minnesota Farmers' Market Association /// 9800 155th Street East, Nerstrand MN 55053 /// 


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