Tis the season for canning, pickling, and other ways to keep our summer bounties fresh all winter. However, one online group warns Minnesotans that they could be putting their families in unnecessary danger by not reading this one label carefully before they start. The label Minnesotans should be looking at is their vinegar label, if it's not a certain level of acidity it could be dangerous to serve later on!

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I belong to the group, Farm Direct Minnesota, and the wonderful person behind the page, Sazzy Lee Varga, recently shared a post warning them of the dangers of some vinegar that Minnesotans could be using for pickling items fresh from the garden.

Image Credit: Screenshot by Paul Shea/TSM
Image Credit: Screenshot by Paul Shea/TSM

According to the post:

Just a little warning for all who are canning pickles or anything using vinegar. You cannot just grab a plastic jar of vinegar or even pickling vinegar without checking the label. Safe pickling requires 5% acidity.... we are seeing 4% acidity vinegar... on the shelves. That renders anything pickled in the 4% NOT shelf stable. There are several canning FB pages where everyone is warning ....to check those labels or you could be throwing out many jars of unsafe pickled veggies.

So I double-checked on what Sazzy posted about and sure enough, she was spot on, Penn State's Extension Office has a whole page on 5% acidity for pickling, you can learn more about that topic here. 

So before you do any more canning for the fall and winter, take a moment and check your vinegar label for the level of acidity, if it doesn't hit that 5% threshold you could be endangering your family or friends when they pop the top on those pickled asparagus spears or bread and butter pickles!

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