New Changes in Canning Lid Procedures?

New Canning Lid Procedures - LivingHomegrown.com

Recently, Jarden, (the company that manufactures all Ball Canning Jars and lids), very casually mentioned that they completely changed the recommendations when using their canning jar lids.

No explanation was given for this change.

So, I called them up to get the scoop.

Below it is the latest information…

Latest Canning Lid Procedure - LivingHomegrown.com

The UPDATE:

I originally wrote this post Friday, Aug 22, 2014 outlining a change by Jarden on how to prepare their canning lids for use.

This was news because:

  • This was a change in a time-honored procedure.
  • Their new messaging was not matching what was written on most current jar and lid packaging.
  • Their customer service department was giving out a slightly different message over their hotline number than what was actually the official procedure change.

I have since had a conference call with the Jarden Company to clear up the facts. The post below reflects what is “officially” their company wide messaging on the new options for preparing their canning lids and the reasoning behind it.

At the end, is a timeline of the research for this post.

Here is the Updated Post…

New Canning Lid Procedures - LivingHomegrown.com

The Old Recommendation:

Now, as canners we know that the recommendation has always been to drop the canning lids into a pan of hot, simmering water while you prepare your recipe. Then as you fill your jars, you pull the lids out of the hot water and use them.

The purpose of the hot water was to soften the rubber gasket and make for a good seal.

The New Recommendation:

Jarden (Ball Canning) now says that we do not have to heat the canning lids in hot water before canning.

NOT AT ALL.

Instead, we can just wash the lids and use them at room temperature.

Now, just to be clear the Jarden Company changed THEIR recommendations. There have been no changes to the USDA recommendations of 2009 which states to “follow the manufacturer’s instructions” for preparing the jar lids. (USDA Ag Info Bulletin No. 539 – Pg. 1-15).

Why The Change?

Although the Jarden hotline reps originally told me this was due to the the new BPA free coating, that is not the case.  The change in their recommendations has nothing to do with the BPA free coating.

It is simply that Jarden tested the process and determined that we can heat or not heat the lids in warm water and get great results either way.

However, if the lid is overheated in boiling water, it can cause the plastisol to thin out. If that happens, you either get a poor seal (that fails later on the pantry shelf) or no seal at all.

So, they now recommend that we either:

  • Wash the lids and use them at room temperature
  • OR we only place them in warm water no hotter than a simmer (180 degrees)

The choice is ours.

Note: I have information below on how lids are affected by the high temperature of the Pressure Canner.

Why Don’t The Box Instructions Reflect This?

Many boxes on the market still have the old instructions.

Jarden says that the updated information has already been printed on this year’s boxes. It takes time for this to trickle down through the stores and store shelves.

Where is This Info on Their Website?

At the time of the original post, it was difficult to find the information on the Ball Canning website. We could only find it here. It says:

“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 preheated in simmering water (180 degrees Fahrenheit). Simply wash lids in hot, soapy water, dry, and set aside until needed. 

Note: Instructions on lid, cap, and jar packaging is changed. However, retail stores may stock packaging having either instruction.”

The Ball Canning Company is currently creating a special page with this new lid information clearly spelled out. (I will link to it when they do.)

So Either Way Is Okay?

Yes, we can do it either way.

However, as you can read from the comments below, many people are feeling they are getting seal failures from not heating.

Gently heat or don’t heat at all. The choice is yours.

But just do not OVERHEAT the lids before using.

What About Sterilizing the Lid?

We can’t boil the lids to sterilize them. All we can do is wash them in soapy water and rinse.

I asked the Jarden Company about this specifically during our conference call because we all know that according to USDA recommendations, any recipe processed less than 10 minutes in a water bath must have the jars, rings and lids sterilized.

They say that all we can do is always process our preserves for 10 minutes or longer in a water bath to take care of sterilizing. (All pressure canned products are automatically sterilized during the processing time in the pressure canner)

Wait…BPA?

This discussion brings up the whole topic of what plastic formula is used as the coating replacement for BPA (Jarden won’t say exactly as it is proprietary).

Is it worse than BPA or does it matter? (The food should not be in contact with the lid).

I wrote about that over here a few years ago. There is a lot of discussion in the comments.

Which Lids Are BPA Free?

The BPA free change happened around 2013. All the lids manufactured last year were BPA free, but there were many stores still selling out the old stock. Last year’s box only said “Made in USA” and did not make any BPA Free distinction.

According to Jarden, if you find any of the following markings, your lid is BPA free:

  • Says “Made in USA” on the box
  • Has an American flag on the box
  • Says “BPA Free” on the box
  • Says “Made in USA” on the lid

So even if your box is missing, you can tell your lid is BPA free because it will say “Made in USA”.

Also note that if you have really old lids, (5 years or more), the rubber seal loses elasticity with time and may not seal as well. I use old lids for when I freeze things like soup.

What About Other Brands?

There have been no changes in other canning lid brands. Each manufacturer of jar lids has their own recommendation and procedures for using the lids. Always read the box and follow their instructions for best results.

But Ball Canning (Jarden) is the largest maker of jars and lids in America. So most of the lids you buy would follow this new procedure.

What If I Forget and Overheat the Lids?

No worries. The canning police will not come write you up. The worst that can happen is that you get some seal failures.

What About Pressure Canner Temps?

One question that kept coming up in the comments below and on canning discussion boards across the internet was this:

If over heating thins the plastisol gasket on the lid, what happens when it reaches over 240 degrees of a pressure canner?

I got the official answer from the experts at Jarden.

They said that yes, overheating in a pan of water will cause the plastisol to “thin” which means it spreads out on the lid’s surface and flattens out too much.

However, when that heat hits while in the pressure canner, that plastisol is up against the glass jar rim and they have found that the extreme heat just causes it to spread around the glass rim (as you would hope it would) and gives a good seal.

The difference is that in the saucepan of water, the plastisol has no place to go but out across the lid and gets thin. In the second case, it is up against the glass rim and spreads around all sides of that rim which ends up giving a good seal.

So, there you go.

Did You Catch The Change in Procedure Before I Did?

Tell me in the comments below!

Timeline of Research for this Post:

8/16/14

  • Ball Canning had their Can it Forward live event on the Internet. I recorded it and when watching later, I was surprised to hear Ball reps clearly say toward the end of the event, “We no longer recommend that you heat the lids.

8/21/14

  • I searched the Ball Canning website and could find nothing on this new procedure. (They have since made corrections and are preparing a special page)
  • I called the Jarden Canning Hotline (The company that makes the Ball lids and jars) and got verbal confirmation on this new procedure and was told that they “are no longer recommending we heat the lids” and that it was because of the BPA lid change. (Note: Both of these points turned out to be slight mistakes by Jarden’s hotline reps.)
  • I contacted the PR department to confirm (Yes, in writing) that everything I was told over the phone was correct (They did confirm in writing) and I let them know I was going to post on this.

8/22/14

  • I wrote this post that you are reading. It went viral immediately and stirred up many more questions by my readers. (Such as: Why aren’t the boxes reflecting this? What about the temps during pressure canning? And more that you can read in the comments.)

8/25/14

  • I called Jarden on Monday morning to get a third confirmation on all that I had posted. They confirmed with me over the phone (again) that everything was correct. (This later turned out to be misinformation again and I am so glad that they record their phone calls so they can check and address the issue.). I then asked several of the questions brought up by my readers, got the “official answers” and posted an update.
  • I also alerted all of my contacts at Jarden (in PR and Sales) that my post had gone viral and I knew they were going to get questions. They did.

8/26/14

  • Ball Canning (Jarden) put up a brief statement on their Facebook page, which slightly contradicts what was said at the Can it Forward event AND what was told and confirmed to me. Instead of saying, “We no longer recommend that you heat the lids”, they are saying, “gently heating is still okay.” There was quite a discussion going on there due to the mixed messaging as I was not the only one getting different information from the hotline. They did apologize in the comments for the mixed communication.

8/27/14

  • Jarden Company contacted me to set up a conference call to answer any and all remaining questions that my readers were asking.

8/28/14

I had a conference call with the Jarden Company, which included their PR Department and Jessica Piper, their Ball Brand Educator. Here are the facts they wanted me to pass on to all of you:

  • We CAN gently heat the lids if we want to. But we do not have to.  They have determined that gently heating and not heating at all work equally well. If we want to warm the lids, this can only be warm water up to 180 degrees F (a simmer). We CANNOT boil the lids.
  • Although I was told earlier by Jarden (as were some of you) that this change in policy was due to the BPA free lids, that is NOT the case. Their gasket has been plastisol since 1969 and there have been no changes made to it. Only the undercoating of the lid has changed to a BPA free coating.
  • This change in the procedure options was 100% due to the fact that they noticed through testing that both methods work.
  • We also CANNOT boil the lids to sterilize them. If we have a recipe that processes for less than 10 minutes, which means (according to the USDA recommendations) that we should pre-sterilize, our only option is to process the recipe for at least 10 minutes so the lids are sterilized during the process.
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About the Author

Theresa Loe is the Co-Executive TV Producer and the On-Air Canning/Homesteading Expert for the national PBS gardening TV series, Growing A Greener World. She is a lifetime canner and a graduate of the Master Food Preserver Program. She studied both sustainable horticulture and professional culinary arts and she is a wrangler of chickens and two teenage children. (Not necessarily in that order.)

{ 194 comments… add one }

  • Gen August 22, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    Thanks for sharing this information Theresa. I remember reading about the change for heating Ball canning lids, but I find myself warming them anyway. I have my ‘canning’ routine and haven’t changed what I do when setting up since the change. I have been good about not leaving them to warm longer than it takes to activate the compound, maybe that’s why I haven’t had any issues with the new lids / recommendations? Maybe it’s time I break myself of warming the lids, and try it the new way. lol

    Reply edit
    • theresa August 22, 2014 at 1:01 pm

      Yes, Gen. I must be in the same boat.

      I just amended the post to address what to do if you don’t have the box and are unsure if the lids are BPA free. I am recommended that you gently heat the lids, but not boil the heck out of them. The Jarden Company says that was the issue – over heating. So, you are correct. That is why we were okay so far. :-)

      Reply edit
  • Denise August 22, 2014 at 1:30 pm

    Would this apply to Ball and Kerr lids?

    Reply edit
  • Carmen Thompson August 22, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    Those recommendations have been around since the 2009 USDA canning guidelines. Water bathed items done for at least 10 minutes and all pressure canned items need not be sterilized.

    Reply edit
    • theresa August 22, 2014 at 2:07 pm

      Hi Carmen,

      I was trained as a Master Food Preserver. I was certified on those guidelines and am well aware that you do not need to sterilize a jar processed for 10 minutes or more. (But you DO sterilize the jars if you are processing for less than 10 minutes.)

      This post is about the manufacturer’s recommendations.

      Any USDA certified Master Food Preserver will tell you to “follow the manufacturer’s recommendations” when preparing a jar lid. This is because every brand has different instructions.

      Ball changed their recommendations and they are the biggest maker of lids in America. Hence the post.

      Reply edit
  • Robin Berger August 22, 2014 at 1:48 pm

    Happily this is a change that has no effect on me. Several years ago I realized that we were heating the lids to make the seal work better, not to sterilize them, so I stopped heating the lids cold turkey. For some reason that extra pot on the stove was the one that made me feel like I was juggling too many things. I have never had a problem with my jars sealing properly, but then again I was boiling them after for 10 minutes or more.

    Reply edit
    • Jackie August 23, 2014 at 2:53 pm

      Robin, I quit heating lids years ago as well and have had no problems as well. I am glad to hear I am not the only one that has done this.

      Reply edit
      • Adrian Anderson August 24, 2014 at 5:41 pm

        I just wash the lids in hot tap water, leave them in a bowl with hot tap water and then use them. I have never had a problem. Of course we water bath or pressure can for longer than 10 minutes so I have never worried about it.

        Reply edit
        • Sandy Hines September 1, 2014 at 3:37 am

          If your water heater is not set high enough it can harbor bad bacteria. You should not wash or soak canning lids in warm water from water heater unless
          it is set high enough to kill bacteria. You would be better off to wash in cold
          water.

          Reply edit
          • Carol October 13, 2014 at 12:01 am

            In order for a water heater to be hot enough to kill “most germs”, it would have to be set for 140°F, which would cost an awful lot to keep most water heaters that hot AND would create a scald risk to children taking a bath or washing hands.

            I’ve always heated lids in a simmering pot & was taught to at least heat, if not boil, the even older rubber, or rubber-like ring lids used on the bail-type jars.

            Why they’d make a lid you can’t toss in with your jars & rings and boil is beyond me! I always sterilized them together.

            More confused now by why any lids would be designed so you can’t pre-sterilize the lids???

            They should be designed to take a seal weather cold then heated or sterilized! We have the technology to do this. With canning being a great art many are again learning at home, why would any company make lids that could fail if they are boiled???

            Sounds ridiculous!

            edit
  • Janet August 22, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    Always nice to have the latest information. Just bought new boxes of Kerr lids and they are BPA free but the instructions say to wash lids in hot, soapy water. Rinse well. Place lids in saucepan, cover with water. Simmer until ready to use. Hopefully they will make changes in their instructions, but they would need something bold on the front because I don’t think I’ve ever read the box before. Thanks for the post!

    Reply edit
    • theresa August 22, 2014 at 2:39 pm

      Right Janet. According to their website their new boxes do have the new instructions. However all of my boxes (included about 3 dozen new jars they sent me a couple of months ago to test) have the old instructions on them.

      Reply edit
  • robin August 22, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    Thank you for this…I doubt I would have known otherwise!

    Reply edit
    • theresa August 22, 2014 at 2:57 pm

      You are welcome Robin. When I heard someone from Ball canning casually mention that they changed the procedures, I was like “WHAT?????” So, I called the hotline and then verified the info with their PR department. I’m betting it will be bigger news next year when more of the boxes reflect the change. But as a lifetime canner, I don’t think I would notice the box change.

      Reply edit
      • Dolly Sarrio September 15, 2014 at 4:36 pm

        Hi Theresa, You are correct. I have canned since early teen age years and that is over 40 years. When I called recently I was told well the instructions are on the box. I told this representative why on earth would a lifetime canner take the time to read the box…What would be the point? There should be some notification on the boxes anyway as to the changes. 2009 is the last time I saw any updates to home canning. I have done a post and linked it to your post here. So many like myself were unaware of the changes. Thanks for being the one to get the info out there. I have been in contact with a Jarden Representative and keep getting conflicting information.

        Reply edit
  • deb August 22, 2014 at 4:32 pm

    Thank you. Great information. I have brand new boxes of jars and lids. They are at least two years old or older. Maybe I will start this year to use them.

    Reply edit
  • Michelle August 22, 2014 at 6:04 pm

    If simmering can heat the seal too much and make the seal fail, then water bath processing seems like it should be right out. It has to heat the lid more than simmering would, wouldn’t it?

    Reply edit
    • theresa August 22, 2014 at 7:49 pm

      You bring up an excellent point Michelle. A group of us were just discussing this over on Facebook. Specifically, I was wondering about pressure canning were the lid would be exposed to temperatures well above boiling (pressure canning reaches over 240 degrees).

      I am going to ask Ball for their answer to that and have already sent an email to my contacts there. But since it is Friday, I won’t be able to report back until Monday (or whenever I get an official answer). I will post their response in the post above.

      Reply edit
      • Cathy August 23, 2014 at 8:13 am

        I have canned green beans, I heated my lids the old way. Then filled my jars and I use the water bath method. I have never used a pressure canner. Almost all of my beans are spoiled! Could you give me tips on why this happened. I canned over 100 quarts. I’m so upset.

        Reply edit
      • Jackie August 23, 2014 at 2:56 pm

        I am interested in hearing the answer to this as well.

        Reply edit
      • Susan August 24, 2014 at 5:13 pm

        I would be interested in what they say about the water bathes as well.

        Reply edit
        • theresa August 25, 2014 at 6:21 am

          I updated the post with the official answer from Jarden on why the lids still work in a pressure canner. It was pretty much as we had suspected, but I wanted them to give their answer.

          Reply edit
    • S August 23, 2014 at 5:47 am

      Michelle,
      I just posted a similar reply, then slowed down to READ comments! I am with you on that one, heat is heat, so I find this all a bit alarming!
      My next question,… was the BPA really that big of an issue? We aren’t canning in plastic, it was JUST the seal which is not in contact with the food for extended periods of time. Then the mind starts asking, is the new better than the old rubber gaskets?
      Makes the mind whirl a bit this morning. This was important news, now I have to figure out how to react to it.

      Reply edit
    • Marlene August 23, 2014 at 1:54 pm

      The problem isn’t too much heat per se. It is heating the lids too much before use, which causes the gasket to thin out too much when placed on the jar so there isn’t enough sealant left where it is needed. If lids are put on jars at room temp or just warmed, the sealant will not spread out.

      Personally, I have never simmered my lids, just heated them. I am always appalled when I see people saying to boil the lids; that has never been a recommendation for these lids!

      Reply edit
  • Cynthia Koons August 22, 2014 at 6:45 pm

    I had some epic lid failures a good many years ago (5+) and I contacted Ball to complain and learn what to do differently, they advised me at that time to STOP boiling lids, which I stopped immediately. I also oven can fruit, tomatoes and other high acid/sugar foods (HORRORS!!) and have nearly 100% success with both the immediate seal as well as the year it takes to consume all the product I have canned. Thank you for taking the time to post this very important information!

    Reply edit
  • Stephanie August 22, 2014 at 8:52 pm

    I just happened to go to their website and saw the notice. Guess I just don’t read the boxes anymore! Still feels weird not having them simmering.

    Reply edit
  • Kris @ Attainable Sustainable August 22, 2014 at 9:11 pm

    Thanks for posting this – I hadn’t heard this yet.

    Reply edit
  • Ilene August 23, 2014 at 2:04 am

    For a long time now I have just poured just boiled water over the lids in a sauce pan. Guess its been a compromise.

    Reply edit
    • S August 23, 2014 at 5:39 am

      So, I am confused, if the heat causes the seal to break down, what happens in a water bath or pressure cooker? Logic would seem to indicate that if these lids can not withstand the boiling water prior to placing on the jar, then they also can not withstand the boiling water after they are placed on the jar! Right?

      Reply edit
      • theresa August 23, 2014 at 6:16 am

        Exactly S – I know you wrote this comment second before seeing our discussion on that and you commented again. But I’m posting this anyway. As we discussed, I’ll check this out. It is a great question and what I am wondering now too.

        Reply edit
      • Michele August 23, 2014 at 12:11 pm

        I think the issue is, if we preheat the lids, it softens the seal , and then we over tighten the lid, and it squishes the seal out too much-thinning it, so that it doesn’t seal properly.

        Reply edit
  • Karen Chrestay August 23, 2014 at 5:38 am

    Hi, Theresa. Great site and really helpful information. I’m in high-canning mode right now as our garden is in overdrive! I have always wondered if there is a source for getting one-piece canning lids for water bath canning? You know, like the ones that come on a lot of commercial products. To me, they look just and operate just like the ring and lid type just altogether in one piece. I’d love to find some and try them. Any ideas? Thanks!

    Reply edit
    • theresa August 23, 2014 at 7:16 am

      Hi Karen,

      I was recently sent samples of Quattro jars and lids to test out. I have heard great things about the company. But haven’t had a chance to test them out myself yet. Here is a link to their facebook page that currently has a photo of the jar lids: https://www.facebook.com/BormioliRoccoUsa

      Reply edit
      • Erin Moody August 24, 2014 at 10:42 am

        I just canned blackberry preserves in the 5oz Bormioloi Rocco jars for gifts. The lids worked great. They take a bit longer to ‘pop’ and seal than the Kerr/Ball lids that I usually use. The jars have a nice design, too.

        Reply edit
        • theresa August 24, 2014 at 11:55 am

          Good to know Erin. Thanks. I will be posting my results in a few weeks.

          Reply edit
          • Beth August 25, 2014 at 2:39 am

            I live in Europe, and had to adjust my canning habits, as we can only get one-piece lids here. I have used them the same way – simmer the lids, tighten after filling the jars, and boiling water bath. They have worked great for me. There isn’t any kind of brand name on most of them, but we also get the Quattro jars and they have worked great too. Felt strange at first, but I like them!

            edit
          • theresa August 25, 2014 at 4:01 am

            Good to know Beth. Thanks!

            edit
    • Mitch August 25, 2014 at 8:44 am

      Fillmore Containers carries numerous sizes of jars and 1 piece lids for water bath processing, made with the plasticol seal. We’ve been using them for a couple of years for our relishes and preserves at the farm

      Reply edit
  • Missy August 23, 2014 at 5:41 am

    I sterilize my jars, lids, and bands in the oven, is there any recommendation on that vs. Not heating them at all?

    Reply edit
    • theresa August 23, 2014 at 6:14 am

      Hi Missy-

      Ball did not have any specific recommendation on heating the lids in the oven. They had always wanted them heated in hot water because the purpose was to soften the rubber gasket on the lid. Dry heat would not soften it.

      Reply edit
  • Mike Kissel August 23, 2014 at 5:43 am

    I have been canning for over 30 years, I never have simmered the lids.
    I beleive that they are scalded in the boiling water bath / pressure canner. No bacteria can with stand these temperatures.
    I have had MAYBE 24 jars in 30+ years loose their seal and have spoilage.
    Thats just me. Everyone has to do what they think is best.
    Best of luck to everyone!

    Reply edit
  • Dixie August 23, 2014 at 6:08 am

    Thank you to you and others that get this information out there to us. Much appreciated.

    Reply edit
  • Deborah Brown August 23, 2014 at 6:15 am

    I have the Ball lids quite a lot this summer without any problems. Had a friend pick up some lids at WalMart for me. Solo they got their brand… When I put my jars into the water bath the lids bucked & crimped, would not seal at all. Threw them in the trash can & swore never to use anything but Ball.

    Reply edit
    • Sue August 26, 2014 at 10:02 am

      I had problems with the WalMart lids and rings. A couple of the lids got a crease when they sealed, and the seal didn’t last; the threads on the rings, it turned out, weren’t as deep as the Ball rings and I had 2 pop off in the water bath! Never again!

      Reply edit
  • Anon Ymous August 23, 2014 at 6:58 am

    This sounds like a recipe for disaster. Even beer home brewers soak the lids in vodka or Everclear. Soap and water just seems…marginal.

    Reply edit
    • Nancy August 23, 2014 at 7:33 am

      But home brewers are not canning their product – beer is not heated when it is bottled, so sterilizing the lids makes sense. Sometimes I’ve added a little Chlorox to soapy water to ensure further sterilization when washing. Rinsing gets it off. I even do this when cleaning vessels for home ferments and generally have good success with my ferments, which would not happen if there was residual chlorox or residual wee-beastie bacteria. So the chlorox must eliminate the wee-beasties and the thorough rinsing eliminates the chlorox. Or send it through a dishwasher which is the same as bleach cleaning.

      Reply edit
      • Kat August 23, 2014 at 3:12 pm

        You know, in the restaurant/food service industry, the required 3-part wash to sterilize all items is soap, rinse, dip in water with bleach, then air dry. I’d have to look up the exact ratio of bleach to water, it’s been so long. But in a standard home sink or dishpan, one oe two capfuls should be about right.

        Reply edit
  • alton till August 23, 2014 at 9:52 am

    I used ball and kerr lids this year had 5 quarts of tomatoes that didn’t seal at time of canning. Unfortunately 2 weeks later checked pantry and have lost another 40 quarts that did not seal good. They were sealed when I put them in there. I lost 45 of 90 quarts of my tomatoes. The first 5 I froze. Very disheartening .

    Reply edit
    • theresa August 23, 2014 at 11:03 am

      Wow Alton. That is very disheartening!

      Reply edit
    • kandi September 28, 2014 at 11:18 pm

      I am not very happy with the results I’m getting g this year. I’ve had quite a few not seal at all. Then about every week I’ve found sealed jars that were sealed and put away that have come unsealed. I’ve contacted the company and they just gave me a list of why the seals might fail. I’ve never had this happen in all these years of canning. If I keep getting 10-12 jars having seal failure I won’t have any food storage left.

      Reply edit
  • April August 23, 2014 at 10:49 am

    If the lids get to hot (thus thinning out the seal) when simmering them before placing them on the jar…. what keeps the very same thing from happening IN the canner when I am pressure canning at 10 lbs of pressure for 90 minutes!!!!! Years ago I bought a case of lids…. keep them cool and in the dark. They are far superior to the new thin red ring being used. I feel the new lids have been cheapened for economy sake, not for our good.

    Reply edit
    • theresa August 23, 2014 at 11:04 am

      April,

      You bring up a good point and several of us have been discussing this very point here and on facebook. I have an email sent to my contacts at Jarden and I will call Monday to see if I can get us an answer on that.

      Reply edit
      • Rebecca August 23, 2014 at 5:24 pm

        I would think that it is helpful that the seal material is not hot when you put it on the jar and screw down the ring (which is likely what is squishing it too thin). I don’t think the heat is making it thin… it just softens the material. Just my hypothesis.

        Reply edit
  • Farmer's Wife August 23, 2014 at 11:39 am

    Actually some boxes have “made in the USA” on the box, but if the actual LIDS inside that box don’t have in small print directly on them “Made in the USA”then they are still the old lids with BPA. There were transition boxes when first made that still had BPA. I got this from the company hotline.

    Reply edit
  • Debbie August 23, 2014 at 3:01 pm

    I haven’t boiled my lids or jars in years while canning. Since they came out with anti bacterial soaps I now clean my sinks extra well, use very hot water and soak my lids and jars for a few minutes. Rinse them well and hold them in hot tap water in a clean sink until I fill them. I haven’t had a jar of anything spoil from hot pack or cold pack. The whole idea of boiling the jars was to kill the bacteria, and anti bacterial detergent does just that. I know a lot of you may not agree with this, and that’s okay,. I’m just saying from personal experience that I don’t boil lids or jars and more and I’ve not had any problems. Thanks for the info though, it’s good to know they are now recommending we don’t boil certain lids and I’m sure the other companies will follow suit shortly.

    Reply edit
    • Ted August 30, 2014 at 11:28 pm

      The whole idea of boiling wasn’t for sterilization. They are gonna get sterilized in the canner when you process them. The reason for boiling was because the original Mason canning jars (ESPICALLY wire and bale jars which preceded the Mason jars) were not tempered glass. In fact the glass was rather poor quality which is why so few of those jars have survived the years. When you dumped hot jam right off the stove into a cold jar made out of glass full of air bubbles, inclusions, and irregularities that was not tempered, that was a recipe for thermal shock.

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  • Elge Davis August 23, 2014 at 3:37 pm

    At the beginning of this season I had about 30% failure rate. I tried both simmering the lids for about 7 minutes and the new recommendations and it didn’t seem to impact seal failure rate. However, at the beginning of the season I was canning half pint jars of jam with the regular mouth lids. Now that I’m on to peaches, veggies and spaghetti sauce, I’m using the wide mouth lids and have virtually none fail. It looked to me like the new regular mouth lids had significantly less sealing compound than in years past.

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  • Gail August 23, 2014 at 4:39 pm

    Oh my goodness, thanks for the post, however, I have canned many jars already, and guess what, heated everyone of those lids.

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  • scott schluter August 23, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    Thanks for the heads up! I just canned today and did the hot…oops. I guess I will use my homebrew experience from now on and rinse the lids in sanitizer.

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  • Sarah Tveter August 23, 2014 at 6:13 pm

    I know you said you called the source directly, but do you have any written source that you can point us to? I’m a canning educator as well, so I’d like to try and find that.

    I wonder if they have brought out this change, because too many people actually OVER heated the lids – rather than just softening them, which will cause seal failures too. Maybe they have fewer failures this new way, than the old way, and its more about user error than anything else.

    Either way, if you can point us towards their research and results, that would be great!

    Reply edit
    • theresa August 23, 2014 at 6:36 pm

      Hi Sarah,

      Another reader finally found the info on their website. I amended the post and will include the link below.

      They mentioned that they “no longer recommend heating the lids” during their live broadcast last weekend on the “Can It Forward” event. They just brushed over it and I was like…”Wait. WHAT???” I called and had the information confirmed by the hotline. Then I contacted 2 people I know in the PR department. We had an email exchange and they confirmed the information as well. I told them I would be writing about it.

      Now on their website is says you can do either. But the hotline and representatives specifically say, “We no longer recommend heating”. Here is the link:http://www.freshpreserving.com/tools/waterbath-canning

      I think you are exactly right about user error. They specifically told me that people were over heating the lids.

      Here is my theory (although they did not say this) about why the info is not easy to find. I think they are waiting for the new boxes with the new recommendations to get better into circulation. I think they are quietly telling people and will do a big announcement next year.

      That is exactly how they rolled out the BPA free lids. Last year, I called and they confirmed that their new lids were indeed BPA free but they told me they would not be putting it on the boxes until the following year (this year). It is not that this is a secret, but I’m not sure they are ready to put it all over their website.

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      • cAROL September 19, 2014 at 9:00 pm

        Theresa, THANK YOU SOOOO MUCH FOR YOUR RESEARCH AND PERSISTENCE ON THIS ISSUE. I am a long time canner. ( I am 71 years old)… This year I have bought 4 box’s of new jars and lids. I discovered that they had a most disgusting odor inside the jars. All of them. Never have I had that before. I would like to see a chemical analysis of these lids, which I am finding that they are not sealing as did my canning is previous years. I have read a lot of the comments by your readers and I have had the same experiences. The one that bothers me the most is a lid that looses it’s seal in time. Some of mine this year have had a hard time sealing. When I touch the center bump, it will pop down but the jar has a low or ‘base’ sound to the lid, not the high sound ‘ping’ as years past. Question, could the tone of the ‘ping’ indicate how well it is sealed? I think we as consumers are really being jerked around.

        Reply edit
        • theresa October 7, 2014 at 6:30 am

          Hi Carol,

          As you know, a ping has always been considered one of the ways of determining if a jar is sealed or not. You get different tones based on the thickness of the lid (might sound different with a different brand), the amount of air space in the jar, and the vacuum inside the jar. But in all cases, you are supposed to get a high pitch “ping” when you tap the center with a metal spoon. However, I find that you get such a different tone based on the air space that it is hard to teach.

          In your case, it sounds like the tone has changed with this new lid. I tried a few of mine and I agree the new ping sound is different from years past. Mine are still pretty high though.

          Here is what I am thinking: What people are describing here is that the jars are indeed sealed (and probably giving the proper “ping”) and with time the jars are losing the seal. So no, I do not feel at this point that the ping would would be our best indicator of if we will have a failure over time. :-(

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  • Deborah August 23, 2014 at 10:48 pm

    A well written and informative post. Thank you. I am new to this canning game and am still trying to learn not only the process but understand the WHYs of the process so if something goes wrong I learn from it and can rectify it. The lids is obviously a biggie as noted above by so many experienced people. I’ve learnt a lot from the discussions in the comments as well as the post. Much appreciated and shared with the groups I am getting in with to learn more :)

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    • theresa August 24, 2014 at 4:32 am

      Hi Deborah,

      I’m so glad you found it helpful. Thank you so much for sharing it.

      My whole thing with trainings, tutorials and even my classes is to explain the science behind the techniques (I was trained as a Master Food Preserver, but I also have a degree in Engineering). I try hard to do that because it helps later if you ever have to make a safety decision on your own. You can do that if you understand the “why”. :-)

      Be sure to sign up for my updates (newsletter). I give lots of free canning tips each week. Glad you are here!

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  • Carol August 24, 2014 at 4:41 am

    I’m new to canning. Freezing w/ a jar? glass jars?? Is that possible?
    I’ve been washing & then soaking the jars & lids in a hot (very hot) water bath. sounds like I can run my jars in the dishwasher & skip the lids if I have new supplies. right?

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  • Amy August 24, 2014 at 4:50 am

    Yikes. I’ve already canned 50 quarts of tomatoes, with nary a second thought about doing the usual lid simmer. I hope my jars aren’t in trouble.

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  • Janis August 24, 2014 at 5:05 am

    Well, I just canned tomatoes yesterday with these new lids and boiled them. Sigh. What I would like to know is how to tell if my jars are safely sealed?

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  • Sharon Bohannon August 24, 2014 at 5:26 am

    I was glad to see this explanation. In the last few weeks I had had a high fail to seal rate on beans and chicken. So yesterday I was looking at the boxes. I had been using some golden harvest seals I had gotten at a good price. I decided to use Ball yesterday. I noticed the new instructions on the box. Out of 20 pints of chicken one did not seal yesterday. Thanks for the update.

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    • theresa August 24, 2014 at 10:55 am

      You are welcome Sharon. I have a mix of lids and like most canners, I have been canning my whole life so I don’t read the instructions. Plus, most of my “new” lids have the old instructions.

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  • Tracey August 24, 2014 at 5:46 am

    I learned about this a couple of weeks ago and canned 56 jars on Wednesday. My seal rate is typically 100%. I didn’t simmer my kids, per the new instructions, and had EIGHT jars fail to seal. I was not a happy camper. I will continue to simmer my lids gently until I can get some better explanations of what’s going on behind the scenes.

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    • theresa August 24, 2014 at 10:57 am

      Hi Tracey,

      So, so sorry to hear about the failure rate. I just amended the post as another commentor found the page on the website that gives the new instructions. Even though Jarden told me on the hotline and through the PR department that they “no longer recommend heating”, it says on their website that either way should work. The trick is to NOT over heat.

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  • lisa lynn August 24, 2014 at 6:25 am

    Thank you for sharing this info! I linked to this post from a post I just published.

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  • shawn August 24, 2014 at 6:27 am

    I have never canned but want to start…tips and/or tricks??

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  • Lisa August 24, 2014 at 6:44 am

    My father in law just put up 32 quarts of tomatoes and did not boil the lids as suggested…this is the first time he has not heated them in over 50 years of canning. All 32 jars are ruined! The jars did not seal and there is mold growing on the inside of some of the jars. I will continue to simmer the lids just to be safe. That’s a lot of work for a 70 year old man and then have them all fail like that. Not good!

    Reply edit
    • theresa August 24, 2014 at 11:52 am

      I agree Lisa. Sorry that happened. It seems a lot of the people commenting are having similar experiences. Even though Jarden told me they no longer recommend the heating, their website still says we can do it either way. The trick is to not over heat. Just warm them but don’t go over 180 degrees F.

      Reply edit
  • Tracy Smith August 24, 2014 at 7:05 am

    Wow. Wish they would have notified us of this change BEFORE I had done my canning this year. Maybe this is why (as of now) that two of my jars of pickles I canned didn’t seal properly (we just found this out the other night while making slaw…we found the lids unsealed and mold growing on the inside of the lid). Awesome.

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  • Donna Hitchcock August 24, 2014 at 8:11 am

    Causing mass confusion as this is written. Many pages and groups I am in are sharing your link and are confused!

    Quoted from Ball site: “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.

    NOTE: Instructions on lid, cap, and jar packaging is changed. However, retail stores may stock packaging having either instruction.”

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  • Jan August 24, 2014 at 8:42 am

    I have never heated the jar flats. I do soak them in warm water just to soften the gasket. 50 years of canning.

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  • Ted cooper August 24, 2014 at 9:44 am

    Good to know, I never boiled the lids. However I did place them in very hot water. So far, no failures, but now, I’ll just wash the lids.

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  • Vivien August 24, 2014 at 9:59 am

    What I am finding with the new lids is that they are thinner than the old ones and I have had a number of lids buckle/fold when using a water bath. Whether or not the seal fails remains to be seen but I am reprocessing all the jars that had this occur just to be safe. It is a waste of my time at my expense in order for the manufacturer to increase profits. I am now looking for lids from Europe to replace the North American ones.

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  • Nora McDowell August 24, 2014 at 10:08 am

    I had a number of said failures last year so am glad to get this news. It is a lot of work to can and then have the seal fail.

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  • Connie August 24, 2014 at 10:43 am

    Great heads up! I checked mine. My local grocer had a close out last year so I bought some inventory then. Guess it may have been the old stuff because none of it says anything on it. Matter of fact, I bought both ball and Kerr, both lids only and lids with rings, and neither have instructions on them at all. I imagine I’ll just throw them in the nipple basket in my dishwasher for a good rinse without overheating them like I do with my jars to heat them up before filling them now. :-)

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  • Kendra August 24, 2014 at 10:44 am

    Have you tried Tattler lids? http://www.reusablecanninglids.com/

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    • theresa August 24, 2014 at 12:01 pm

      I have used Tattler lids. I wrote about it over on my PBS TV show blog here: http://www.growingagreenerworld.com/bpa-in-canning-lids-seriously/

      But I find many people have trouble with the seals. They do take a bit of practice, but I was able to get them to work. However, as you will see in the comments, some people don’t consider them better than BPA lids because they are apparently made with #7 plastic.

      If the food does not come in contact with the lids, it should be okay. It is the leaching that occurs on contact that is a problem.

      Reply edit
  • Sue August 24, 2014 at 3:23 pm

    My family has simmered…for generations…I never have…don’t have problems either.

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  • Kiawa August 24, 2014 at 4:28 pm

    I use the Tattler reusable lids so I was unaware of any changes. Their lids are BPA free, two part and instructions for them have not changed. If you’re canning mainly for your family, you should consider the switch. It’s worth the investment not to have to add to the waste you generate each year.

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  • Michelle August 24, 2014 at 6:51 pm

    I’ve never really simmered the water for my lids since the stove is so crowded by all the big canning pots. I just brew a pot of hot water in my coffee pot and put the lids in there (if I remember in time) if not I just fill it with hot tap water and let it sit for a minute or two. I’ve been doing this for years and I’ve only had a few that didn’t seal.

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  • Robert M. Deems August 24, 2014 at 8:06 pm

    Hi Theresa,
    I have NEVER boiled lids first! All I do is wash gently and can. Also, I ALWAYS go for 10 minutes LONGER than the recommended time it WILL be safer. By the way, I’ll keep your times for altitude in mind in case I ever need them. I WOULD have checked first before canning at a higher altitude, I’m only about 70 feet, because I’ve dealt with altitude before, trust me, the boiling temp of water isn’t the ONLY thing that changes when you go up! (Just ask anyone with any flight training)
    I AM signing-up for your email and, by the way, I use as LITTLE PLASTIC as possible. It may be handy for SOME people but it sure isn’t ecofriendly AT ALL! I just wish EVERYBODY felt the same way! Have a Great Day!
    Bobby Deems

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  • Diana Smith August 25, 2014 at 8:11 am

    75 pints of peaches done and only one didn’t seal…found small nick in the rim of jar that I had overlooked. All were Ball lids bought at end of last season. All I ever do is use the hottest water from my tap and place my lids in there. Slowly becoming fan of Tattler after a scary exploding bean jar that gave me 2nd degree burns on my face…apparently had overtightened jar. 40 years of canning had set me in a pattern and Tattler lids aren’t to be tightened fully before canning so they can vent. A lesson that we all need to review our canning procedures each time we can for safety.

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  • Jada Caniford August 25, 2014 at 2:37 pm

    I just dip mine in the canned before placing the jars in to process. Has never failed me yet

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  • Dawn August 25, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    I have always just simmered my lids, and will continue to do so. I have never had a failure… I say, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

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  • Nancy August 25, 2014 at 7:44 pm

    I have decided to stop using the Ball lids until they figure out this problem. I have had several not seal for no apparent reason and I am uncomfortable with the ones that did seal because I don’t really trust the new lids. They are thinner and there are countless numbers of experienced canners who experiencing problems with the new lids and have cited the problems on many different sites. Big problems with their new product and I hope Ball figures it out soon!

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  • JennM August 26, 2014 at 4:37 am

    Be careful to pre heat bands for the use in the pressure cooker. I washed and used new lids on jars if peaches in wine, and most of the liquid left the jars in the pressure canning process so that the peaches were in the jars with some liquid and the rest was air – many inches of air. If never had that happen before. We’ve been wondering why that happened, and thought it might be due to the lack of oreprocessing the lids. Thoughts?

    Reply edit
    • theresa August 26, 2014 at 7:32 am

      Hi Jenn,

      There are several causes for siphoning (loss of liquid during processing), but the most common reason when pressure canning is cooling down the canner too quickly. It’s important for the jars to cool down slowly and gradually, or the liquid comes out of the jars. If you didn’t do anything to cool them quickly (opening the canner too soon or running cool water on the canner, etc), then the second most common cause is a fluctuation during the canning process itself. This can happen for any number of reasons,but sometimes a fast adjustment on the burner can cause a rapid pressure change in the canner.

      Other causes include: The rings not being on tight enough or not bubbling the jar enough (removing air bubbles with a plastic knife before processing and then adding more liquid if needed). But since you are an experienced canner, that may not have been the cause for you.

      Lastly, as they say…sometimes it just “happens” and we are unsure of the cause. But if you did everything to avoid the causes I listed, it may just be an unknown. I’m sure you know, but I will say for readers who might be newbie canners: The food is still good, but will turn dark faster when not submerged.

      As to this being a lid problem. I can’t say, as this is a common problem for all the reasons above.

      I hope that helped. :-)

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      • Ted August 30, 2014 at 11:03 pm

        Theresa, you overlooked probably the biggest cause of “siphoning” is the fruit just may not have been cooked much. (peaches in wine? Wouldn’t the alcohol kill everything without the need for any processing? I wanna eat at her house, sounds a lot more fun!)

        Fruit going into a pressure canner really needs to be cooked well to drive out as much air as possible, because the high temp of the pressure canner will definitely drive the air out of the fruit. She may not have had any siphoning at all the inches of space in the jar may simply be all the air that was in her peaches. Air in fruit is in the cellular level, it’s not going to be visible as bubbles.

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      • Heather September 4, 2014 at 6:20 am

        I am glad to hear they are still good. I was given 5 quarts of home canned sweet potatoes but they have over an inch of air at the top. The lids appear seal (not popped) and I’ve been afraid to use them. Canning is a lot of work so I hadn’t tossed them either. So should the sweet potatoes be fine even though they have a large air pocket?

        Reply edit
        • theresa September 8, 2014 at 6:08 am

          Hi Heather,

          If the jars are sealed, the food above the liquid line should be fine – but it will darken due to being exposed to the small amount of air inside the jar. Some people just remove the discolored portions when they open the jar.

          However, the fact that the center did not pop can be a concern, but it may be that it was not sucked down but it could be a bad seal. So, do this: Press the center of the lid down.

          1) If it sticks down, it is fine and is sealed. Remove the rings and set on the pantry shelf. That way, if the jar looses it’s seal, you will know because the ring will not hold the lid on.
          2) If it pops back and forth, the jar is not sealed. It means that there was not enough of a vacuum created to pull the lid down OR it has a slow leak. Any jar without a true seal must be thrown out.

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  • Danielle August 26, 2014 at 7:43 am

    Thanks for sharing! I’m about to learn to can and I was reading tutorials online that still mention boiling the lid. I like that I can skip this part.

    Reply edit
    • theresa August 26, 2014 at 5:36 pm

      Thanks Danielle – Well, I think most tutorials will still say to simmer the lids because this is such new information. But remember, every manufacturer is different. You have read the box if you use something other than the new ball lids.

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  • Dawn August 26, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    I have never put mine in boiling water just hot tab water – so I’m guessing that isn’t overheating and since for years all my jars but the occasional 1 or 2 in a year don’t seal I’m ok with that :)

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    • theresa August 26, 2014 at 5:39 pm

      Yep – warming the lids and softening the seal is always what we were supposed to do. The issue is that now the lid is BPA free and made from a new material. So if you DO start to have an issue, you can try using them at room temperature. However, you will notice from the comments that many seemed to have more failures with the new method too. :-(

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  • Chrissy August 26, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    Thanks for this – I hadn’t spotted it.

    Did you see the Mind of a Chef episode (it was “new” on Netflix) where they hot packed tomatoes and didn’t boil at all? I’m surprised it aired at all. It’s season 2, episode 5 – “Preserve”.

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  • Christine Jamieson August 26, 2014 at 5:14 pm

    I’ve always boiled my lids and never had a failure :( . I’ve always assumed it was to soften the rubber. I will still heat the lids but not boil them. I also wash old jars in soapy water and bleach, I then boiling water bath for 10 minutes or longer. I am not willing to change to the recommendations of not sterilizing them before placing food in them. I’ve always thought that sterilization was essential in home canning and uncomfortable with the new suggestions.

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  • Samantha August 26, 2014 at 11:32 pm

    Thanks for the very clear & concise explanation. You can’t get more thorough than that!

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  • Cindy August 27, 2014 at 4:06 am

    Home canning is something I was brought up doing. I bring my pressure canners in yearly to have them checked. Late this last winter I found an awesome deal on chicken and we bought a 1 1/2 cases so I could can it. My oldest daughter called me one day and said her chicken “looked funny” and that she had sent me a picture of it. Before I sat down to open up my email I went down to the fruit room to look at my chicken to find mine looked funny as well. Just about every jar had spoiled. Not wanting to take a chance I emptied every jar and brought to the back 40 for the critters to eat…3 days after bringing it out and dumping it we found that the bear didn’t eat it… I guess critters are pretty smart too! All in all I am going to venture to guess it was a problem with the heat of pressure canning and the plastisol in the new BALL lids. Now on the hunt for lids without plastisol for canning bacon, fresh pork sausage, venison, chicken, pork, pre fried burger and beef cubes.

    Reply edit
    • theresa August 27, 2014 at 6:18 pm

      So sorry to hear about the seal failures Cindy. As frustrating as that was, maybe you just got a bad box of lids? At least I hope that was the case. The plastisol should have been in the gasket last year as well, so if last years canning worked for you I would hope it was just an isolated case. {Finger’s crossed}

      As a side note, I am seeing some different messaging coming out of the Ball Canning camp and they have reached out to me to have conference call to discuss some of the issues we have been discussing here. I will get some more facts from them when I have a phone call with their representatives later this week. Watch for an update to this post soon.

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      • Cindy August 28, 2014 at 5:26 am

        The canned chicken loss was the worst expense wise. I have also lost canned potatoes, tomatoes, and 9 jars of jelly. I used a mix of Ball wide and regular lids for the canning. I hope they get this sorted out soon, looking forward to updates.

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  • Am August 27, 2014 at 6:24 pm

    I am new to canning this summer. I have been simmering my BPA-free lids until reading this post last week. So we are to wash with soap and water, rinse with hot water and we are good to go? Is it okay to put them in the dishwasher as I do my jars – that isn’t too hot? Thanks!

    Reply edit
    • theresa August 28, 2014 at 10:57 am

      Hi Am,

      We are to wash with warm, soapy water, rinse and use. Ball is now saying on their facebook page that it is still okay to simmer. They are no longer saying that they “do not recommend heating the lids” – which is what prompted this whole post.

      They do NOT recommend putting the lids in the dishwasher. I’m not sure it is a heat issue but more of a corrosion issue due to the detergent. But the definitely say do not put the lids in the dishwasher. It is, however, okay to put the jars through the dishwasher.

      Reply edit
  • Robin August 28, 2014 at 7:24 pm

    Thank you so much for your info and efforts! i found this so interesting that I can alot of tomatoes and have canning lids all different years,.etc..I buy them on sale or whenever..so anyway my mom always poured scalding water into her lids before putting on the jar…so I do too…anyway the other day I thought I had only 5 qts but ended up with 7, I put on two lids I did mot put in the scalding water and they DID not seal! First time this has ever happened to me! These were NOT new lids, purchased in the last year, so heat the old ones for sure!!! Whatever is in the new ones I dont know, but, it makes me really nervous! I hate new bpa stuff…wth are they doing to us now? First GMO, now this?!

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  • P Phillips August 29, 2014 at 6:01 am

    My mom always told me to turn the jars upside down after putting on the lids and rims so the pressure of the contents help seal better. This would let food contact the seal. What is your opinion?

    Reply edit
    • theresa August 29, 2014 at 1:47 pm

      Hi P Phillips,

      Although people used to do that, it is no longer recommended according to USDA guidelines. It is recommended to just process your jars in a water bath (if they are high acid food like jams, jellies or pickles).

      Reply edit
  • Rena August 29, 2014 at 10:18 am

    I’ve been canning for nearly 30 years, using the same procedures as my mother and her mother before her. We’ve never boiled the lids, nor pre-washed them in soapy water…..but have always gently simmered or ‘kept hot’ for atleast 10 minutes before putting on the jar. Another secret? We only water bath can…even vegetables, soup & broth. We’ve never had a problem with the lids not sealing either. BUT I will say this….I’m not sure if it was Ball or Kerr lids (I think Kerr) had at one time used a grey colored rubber on their seals & that would melt during long canning sessions…in excess of an hour or more. I’ve never had a problem with the red rubber seal lids no matter how long processing times were used. In past years in order to save some money, I had tried using ‘Mainstay’ lids (Walmart brand) & I wasn’t too happy with the results & only about half the lids actually sealed. I’ve also tried those Tattler re-usable lids, but the jury is still out on those. I’ve not lost a seal with the Tattlers, but I’m still unsure of them just because their different. Those are a work in progress. In the meantime I’ll stick with Ball lids & my regular canning methods…’if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’

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  • Lori August 29, 2014 at 1:44 pm

    This would have been good information to know before I lost my whole winter storage. Thank you for posting this information! However, I found problems with the lids in the pressure cooker too.

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  • Kat August 29, 2014 at 6:30 pm

    Theresa…….I am so glad you added the links to canning foods safely. I am amazed at the number of people who do not follow the guidelines. I realize years ago folks canned in ovens, used wax to seal and just turn jars upside down. Some even complain of loosing product. All it takes is one bad jar and someone to get very ill to change old habits.

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  • Nanabee August 29, 2014 at 6:45 pm

    I want to thank you for your thorough investigation on this subject. I appreciate all the time and effort you have put into getting the correct information and for passing it on to us. I’ve got your website bookmarked and will be back again and again for more advice and information. Bless you!

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  • Danielle August 29, 2014 at 7:00 pm

    I read the original article saying not to heat at all and processed 42 jars in 5 batches before seeing the revision that we can heat them a little. Every single jar sealed and they all pinged within several minutes of being water bathed.

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  • Karen August 29, 2014 at 7:14 pm

    I’ve always known not to boil the lids. The Ball Blue Book has said that for years I think. Not having to keep lids at a simmer will free up space on my stove, so I’m happy to hear that it’s not necessary. Thank you for all your work in researching and sharing this information!

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  • Connie Taylor August 29, 2014 at 7:35 pm

    Theresa, I’m fairly new with canning. Green beans I blanch and freeze 4 bushel every yr. but I haven’t canned in yrs. Can I cook tomatoes in a lg. pot, and then pour the tomatoes into hot jars and put the lids on them and let them set until the lids pop? Thanks oh I’m also going to can beets, pears applesauce salsa. Then butternut squash, and pumpkin cook and freeze them. I’m just abit nervous about canning,

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  • CAPERNIUS August 30, 2014 at 8:11 am

    Mademoiselle:

         Je vous remercie pour cette information car j’ai utilisé billes Société algérienne depuis de nombreuses années.
    J’ai toujours bouillir les couvercles et les anneaux avant de l’utiliser, mais encore une fois, je n’ai jamais utilisé des couvercles en plastique, et je ne voudrais leur faire confiance.
    Mon père a toujours dit quelque chose qui n’est pas cassé n’a pas besoin d’être fixé …. donc je vais continuer à utiliser les couvercles et anneaux métalliques.

    Je vous souhaite la paix.

    Capernius

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  • Krista August 30, 2014 at 12:39 pm

    Your last 4 research dates are in 2015.

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  • Ted August 30, 2014 at 10:48 pm

    When I first started canning I had a number of seal failures so I began experimenting to see what I could do to fix it. These seal failures were much worse with the older antique Mason jars (not wire and bale) because those all have much thicker glass walls (because they couldn’t get the glass quality that good and it has bubbles in it and the glass wasn’t tempered)

    I like to use the older antique jars when I can because the lettering and designs are so interesting. (BWB canning only, antique jars often will crack in a pressure canner)

    What I finally ended up with that has resulted in ZERO seal failures is other than a 30 second scalding in boiling water on the lids, (to get the cooties off them) is use the lids at room temp, and hot-pack. And I mean HOT – I pull the jars out of the boiling water in the canner, empty the water in the jars into the canner, then let them sit for a minute for any water drops to evaporate, then pack immediately. Then, tighten rings down on the filled jars as tight as I can get them by hand – then back them off about 1/4 to 1/8 turn. This has to be done quickly as the rings heat up quickly.

    My take on it is with hot pack the glass heats and softens the sealing material right at the point of contact, then tightening it down by hand jams the sealing material into the top of the jar and indents the glass into it, so you get a complete seal all around the lid.

    I process for 10 minutes even though it’s hot pack and in theory it’s OK to go 5 minutes for acid food – I don’t think the extra 5 minutes makes any difference in the taste.

    Another thing with antique jars and modern lids is the sealing material area is thinner than old lids (the old ones with the grey material) and with the thicker glass it is absolutely critical to center the lid before tightening the ring down or the jar edge will not seal.

    There’s other tricks with working with old glass jars, canning in them is not for beginners, it requires an experienced canner, but it is well worth it as it makes the product very distinguished and decorative and unique looking.

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    • theresa August 31, 2014 at 2:19 pm

      Hi Ted,

      Very interesting. I’ve never canned in my antique jars because of fear of breakage. I’m just too attached to them and would be very sad if they broke. Like you said, they are not tempered. I’m sure they do look beautiful. I know mine look great with just dried good in them like rice and beans.

      I did ask Jarden about the scalding the lids. They advise against that as well. They just really feel that anything over 180 degrees will thin the plastisol. (Unless it is already in contact with the rim of the jar). But I’m glad it all worked out for you.

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  • Ruchelle Gee August 31, 2014 at 5:23 am

    My husband and I decided to begin vege gardening heavily in the last couple of years and the natural next step was canning to preserve our harvest. Having no canning experience and realizing that spoilage, botulism, etc. were problematic, we took a one day course from our local (Clemson) extension. It was a hands on class in which we learned what to do and more importantly why and took home canned jars of string beans and peaches as a bonus. The textbook for the class was the Ball Canning book and they cautioned us not to deviate at all from the instructions, not in recipes nor in process regardless of what our grandmothers may have done. The Ball book and the instructors taught us to simmer the lids at 180 degrees. We use an instant thermometer to monitor the water temp in the pot for the lids, the PRESSURE canner while we are filling it, the water in the pot the jars are simmering in, as well….all at 180 degrees. Thus far we have never had a failed sealed. I have relatives who only use water bath canning for everything and they haven’t died yet, but I don’t know enough about the chemistry and physics to invent my own process. I’m sticking with the book and Clemson’s fine training. It is too much work to do otherwise and lose a harvest. Viva gardening!

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  • Rita August 31, 2014 at 6:03 pm

    I tried heating them one year. I got a lot of mold on my jam. I very rarely have problems with sealing.

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  • Jackie August 31, 2014 at 10:59 pm

    Good Grief! What a hassle. THanks for going to the trouble to find out! Confusing!

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  • KimH September 1, 2014 at 9:23 am

    We heard whispers that Jardin changed or were changing the recommendations a year or maybe 2 years ago. Anyone who has been canning for long knows you should not boil your lids.. I usually bring water to a boil, and then turn the heat off and drop my lids in a few minutes later once it has a chance to cool off a bit.. I’ve been canning for 30 years and never ever had any problems with Ball or Kerr lids.. Tattler lids either for that matter… The Mainstays from Walmart are the only ones I’ve had a problem with.. I stay away from them.. burned too many times.

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  • KarenTheCondimentQueen September 1, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    I was wondering why this season I had so many lid failures when I’ve very rarely ever had any at all. It would be nice if they’d inform us! Thank you for doing so and restoring my Canning Confidence!

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  • Carol September 2, 2014 at 3:38 am

    I just did 68 quarts with no bad seals. The lids say “Made in USA” so they are BPA free. I don’t know what the fuss is about. I still boil my lids with no problems.

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  • jj September 2, 2014 at 9:03 am

    I have been water bath canning for 40 years.
    I hardly ever heated the lids. I put them in hot water for sterilizing, nothing more.
    I can’t remember losing a jar due to no seal, but last month I did lose a can of green beans–never happened before.

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  • Vickie September 2, 2014 at 6:53 pm

    Oh my, what a response! Thank you for this invaluable information! After reading most of the comments, I think I will go ahead and gently simmer my lids.

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  • Melissa September 6, 2014 at 6:06 am

    I wonder if the BPA was replaced with BPS, so there is still bisphenol. Some companies have done this with their plastic products. BPA-free does not mean bisphenol free.

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  • Renee September 6, 2014 at 9:45 am

    All of my canning failed this summer. They were sealed and then days later I heard them pop in the cabinet. I used the the cold seal method. I also turn my jars upside down after placing the lids and rings on.

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  • sandi bee September 8, 2014 at 6:36 am

    I have never “boiled” lids in 40 years of canning. I place the lids in a bowl, stacked alternately up and down so they won’t get stuck together. First jar of water that comes from the canner gets poured over the lids until all covered with boiling water. Then I fill jars as fast as I can, before the water cools. I then process the food according to directions. Remember five minutes means after the full boil resumes in a full canner, so the actual processing may take longer.

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  • Frank Perez September 9, 2014 at 5:14 pm

    Thank you for the tip.
    I have a question: After you fill the jars with the jams or product do you close the lids immediately and the boil again until pasteurize in ether bath marie or pressure cooker?

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  • breadbakerkathy September 10, 2014 at 4:42 pm

    Thx for sharing info!!!

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  • Keenan September 15, 2014 at 7:32 pm

    “Golden Harvest” lids carry the US Flag, say Made in USA and are identified as a product of Heartmark LLC, a subsidiary of Jarden Corp. Their box instruction states:

    “Place lids & bands in a saucepan, cover with simmering water. leave in water until ready to use.

    So, Ball instructions do not match Golden Harvest, but they’re BOTH Jarden and I’d bet they are the same lids, just in different packaging !

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  • Keenan September 16, 2014 at 12:25 pm

    Hi Theresa:

    The Golden Harvest lids lack the white coating on the interior surface of the lid. Both surfaces are the brass color. The sealing ring appears to be the same as the Ball lids.

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  • Keenan September 16, 2014 at 5:51 pm

    I canned tomatoes with the Golden Harvest / Jarden lids today. Washed lids in warm water, brought them to 180F in a pan and proceeded with meticulous care per established practice, carefully wiping threads and the lip before setting the lid. 6 of the 7 quarts appear to have sealed correctly. The remaining jar lost about 2″ of liquid and failed to seal. Failure rate of one in seven is unacceptable.

    Regrettably this seems more evidence to substantiate Yves Smith’s assertion that industry in “crapifying” almost everything:
    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2014/02/james-surowiecki-promotes-myth-consumer-empowerment-face-crappification-almost-everything.html

    Jarden needs to step up and do something to make amends with its disappointed customers.

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  • Keenan September 18, 2014 at 4:51 am

    Hi Theresa:

    A lid failed this morning on a jar I canned about 7-10 days ago in a steam canner.
    Out of a total of 42 jars of tomatoes canned, in either water bath or steam, so far 6 either failed to seal right out of the canner or some time thereafter. My Ball lid seal failure experience in almost 20 years of canning has been a rarity – perhaps 5 jars total., until this year. Perhaps Jarden’ monopoly position has them cutting corners.

    With apologies to Tolkein’s & his Ring trilogy:
    “One Lid to rule them all, One Lid to find them,
    One Lid to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them…”

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  • Christine October 1, 2014 at 9:28 pm

    What bothers me is they state “now” that the lids are only good good up to o e year now aswell.

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  • Ann October 5, 2014 at 5:27 pm

    I’m stymied. We’re having a terrible time with the Ball lids purchased this year. We first noticed that in some of the lids, the red plastic material was not uniform, but there were dimples in some areas. We attributed some of the sealing failures on this characteristic and contacted Ball and were encouraged to replace the lids with those from a different lot number and reseal. We did that, and only used lids that did not have this dimpling. The same problems occurred. It doesn’t seem to matter whether we sterilize or just wash and rinse the lids, but they are not sealing, and when removed, they have dimples and pits in the plastic sealing compound. Has anyone else experience this problem? We’ve never experienced this before and have been canning for years. Anyone have a suggestion?

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    • theresa October 7, 2014 at 5:35 am

      Hi Ann,

      I pulled 3 the three unopened boxes of lids that I had on the shelf and looked at the red plastic. I do not see dimples in mine. But all three boxes where purchased together – so probably were manufactured around the same time. Lots of people are reporting failures the last year or so. Many feel the new formulation is the problem and that it is just not as high quality as the old lid (with BPA).

      Unfortunately, I do not have a suggestion other than trying a different brand of lid. But so far, there are no studies done comparing the failure rates between Ball (the largest manufacturer of lids) and some foreign brands or smaller companies (Like Orchard Road who I wrote about a few weeks ago: http://livinghomegrown.com/2014/09/new-smooth-canning-jars.html ).

      Maybe someone else in our readership can offer up a different brand that they like better?

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      • Carolyn November 12, 2014 at 7:00 pm

        I have been home canning for decades, and approx. four years ago started a handcrafted jam and chutney business. Since going into the jam business, I have used Kerr jars and lids/bands exclusively, including the new “Made in the USA” lids. I chose Kerr over Ball because Kerr jars have a larger smooth surface area for placing labels. When buying the lids/bands separately I have also stuck with Kerr because of the success rate I have experienced with the lids staying sealed.
        In the last 4 years, in processing hundreds if not thousands of jars of jams, chutneys, fruit sauces, pickled veggies, etc., I have only had three lids lose their seal. One lost its vacuum when I tightened the lid (so that could have been on me), one didn’t take because it turned out there was a hairline crack along the jar threads I hadn’t detected, and one (a jar of Dilly Beans) I can’t explain so I’ll blame Kerr for that one.
        Here’s my lid heating routine: I boil a small sauce pot of water, remove the pot from the stove, and then drop in the lids for 3 minutes before using (no more than 7 or 8 at a time, and then re-heat pot of water as necessary and repeat). I do not ever turn the jars upside down, not just out of concern for creating an environment where mold may grow on the lid, but also for aesthetics — not attractive for a customer to open up a jar and have the product attached to the underside of the lid. I was only aware of canners turning their jars upside down as an alternative to the boiling water bath process, not as an addition to the traditional canning method.
        I discovered this blog (btw, great job Theresa!) because I was looking for an answer as to why the Kerr half-pint jars I recently purchased have a slightly different BAND design. It could be a fluke or a a new design – does anyone know? The bottom edge of the band that is rolled flares out [i.e., protrudes] more than usual. It appears the metal is not as tightly rolled, so when you grab the band to twist it, the bottom edge is the first thing you feel. I apply a tamper-evident shrink band to my jars on the finished product so I prefer a band that has a lower lip with a thinner profile.
        Glad to have discovered this blog!

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        • theresa November 15, 2014 at 3:02 am

          Thanks so much Carolyn for the compliment.

          I don’t have an answer on the new Kerr ring design (maybe one of my readers here does) – But I believe that Kerr is owned by Ball. So you may want to call the Ball Canning hotline and ask them about it.

          And way to go with your handcrafted jam business!!! I checked out your website and they all sound delicious!

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  • Maureen Mancha October 5, 2014 at 8:55 pm

    The biggest issue with these new cheaply made lids is that they only last 1 year per the information right on the box.

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  • Gen October 17, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    Just wanted to update you on the lid situation:
    Last night I pressure canned 8 pints of spaghetti sauce as I normally do (temper jars at 180 degrees, warm lids 10 min before filling jars (not boiled), hot packed, de-bubbled, wiped rims, lids & rings finger tight, etc…). However, I used the lids (labeled ‘made in USA’) that came with a case of jars that I purchased from a retailer last month. Normally, I don’t use the lids that come with a case of jars for canning, because they have a formed ridge in the seal from being packaged on the jars – I use them for freezing or vacuum sealing dry goods. I had 3 failed seals. I reprocessed the jars this afternoon, hopefully all seal.

    Three out of eight jars failing to seal is not good. Ah, well, I had a good run of no failed seals and I’m thankful for that. If I have any failed seals on the jars that I reprocessed this afternoon, I’ll let you know. If you don’t hear from me tomorrow, it’s a good thing! lol

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  • Cheryl Abdelnour October 23, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    I am very new a this. I want to can dry ingredients– rice, beans, spices, ect. Could you please tell me how to prepare the jars. I believe I could put them in the dishwasher and wash the rings and lids in hot soapy water. I would then let them air dry. Would I be doing this right. I want to get a Food Saver to vacuum the air out, but do not have it yet. Any info you can give is greatly appreciated.

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    • theresa November 16, 2014 at 5:49 am

      Hi Cheryl,

      With dry ingredients (beans, rice, etc) you are not worried about things like botulism but are more concerned with insect eggs, exposure to sunlight and air. You can pull a vacuum on the jar but if there are insect eggs in there, they can still hatch in warm weather. However, if you buy your dry goods fresh and immediately put them into containers (jars or freezer bags, etc), insect eggs should not be a problem.

      So, all this means that you can safely put your dry good into clean canning jars on the pantry shelf or into containers of your freezer (freezing will kill many insect eggs) and they will good for long term storage without “canning” the dry goods.

      Yes, putting your jars through the dishwasher and letting them air dry is sufficient. But do not oven can your dry goods as some websites tell you to do only for the reasons I specify in this post. You can really just store your dry goods in the jars on the shelf without having to oven can. Or freeze.

      A food saver vacuum is an excellent choice as it does draw out the extra air and this saves flavor.

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  • ann November 9, 2014 at 7:21 pm

    Very upset with Jarden. Canning is a science when the manufacturers start changing the ounces in the jars, it is hard to determine how much food to buy. The jarden wide mouth quart jars only hold 28oz to the rim. NOT 32 OZ LIKE OLD JARS. THIS NEEDS TO BE CORRECTED. We should all complain about this to jarden.

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  • ann November 12, 2014 at 9:25 am

    Sorry about confusion, jarden who now makes all canning jars/lids, said that 32 ounces come top of jar, it’s 28 oz at shoulder. Company stated we do not have to warm lids anymore, they did testing just wash rinse ready to go.

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