MERCER –  Canning season is just around the corner, and now is the time to check dial gauge pressure canners.

It is important to have dial gauge pressure canners checked for accuracy each year. Accurate pressure is critical for safe processing of low-acid foods such as green beans, beets, corn, potatoes, soups and meats. If the pressure reading on the gauge is not accurate, the process might not be killing all the bacteria and spores that can cause illness or death.

To get a dial gauge pressure canner tested, owners can drop off their canner lid with gauge at 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Aug. 7 at the Mercer County Extension Office, 463 N. Perry Highway, north of Mercer. There will be a drop-off bin available at the side door (next to the greenhouse). Anyone choosing to use this service must leave their name and phone number on the inside of their canner lid. The canner lids will be tested and available for pickup with the test results from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Aug. 14. Anyone unable to drop off at these times may call the Mercer Extension Office at 724-662-3141 to make alternate dropoff arrangements.

The testing is free. Weighted gauge canner lids do not need to be tested.