Michigan State University Extension
Preserving Food Safely - 01600572

CANNING FISH General Information

     Although freezing is the easiest way to preserve  fish,
canning  does  offer  some advantages.  Canned fish is shelf
stable and will not take up freezer space.  Canning produces
a moist,  flaky  product.  Canning also  eliminates the bone
problem  because  bones  soften  and  become edible.  Mullet
(suckers)  and other bony fish are often canned in the Great
Lakes area for  this reason.                                

     Use  only half-pint or pint jars for canning  fish;  do
not  use  quart  jars.  Jars  must  be   thoroughly   clean.
However, it  is not  necessary to sterilize them.  Just wash
them in hot, soapy water; rinse well.                       

     Close jars with two-piece canning lids.   Wipe jar  rim
clean.   Put  lid on,  with sealing compound next to  glass.
Screw band down firmly, so that it is hand tight.  Some lids
with  sealing compound require boiling or holding in boiling
water   for   a  few  minutes  before   use.    Follow   the
manufacturer's directions.                                  

     The only safe  way to  process fish is  in  a  pressure
canner.  To prevent any risk of botulism food poisoning, the
pressure  canner  must  be in perfect  order    and  canning
directions  must  be  followed  exactly.    Unless  you  are
absolutely  sure of your pressure gauge and canning methods,
boil home-canned fish for 15 minutes in a covered pan before
tasting or using.  Boiling will destroy botulism toxin.     

     Fish that has been frozen may be safely canned.   Thaw 
fish  in  the  refrigerator  and  process  as soon as it has
thawed.  Processing the fish   promptly   after  thawing  is
essential for a safe product.                               

Go To Top of File        MSU Extension Home Page        Main Page for this Data Base

This information is for educational purposes only. References to commercial products or trade names does not imply endorsement by MSU Extension or bias against those not mentioned. This information becomes public property upon publication and may be printed verbatim with credit to MSU Extension. Reprinting cannot be used to endorse or advertise a commercial product or company. This file was generated from data base 01 on 03/09/98. Data base 01 was last revised on 10/13/97. For more information about this data base or its contents please contact . Please read our disclaimer for important information about using our site.