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Food Preservation

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pickling squash

Pickling Squash

Fresh foods are perishable. The practices of canning and dehydrating increase the shelf life of produce but doing so safely is key to preserving human health.

Fresh foods are perishable because they contain a high percentage of water. The practice of canning preserves foods by removing the oxygen, destroying enzymes and preventing the growth of bacteria, yeasts and mold. It is important to follow proper canning practices to ensure that food is kept safe. Pressure canning is the only safe method for canning meat, poultry, seafood and low acid veggies. Dehydrating also removes the moisture which prevents spoilage from microorganisms. The enzyme action is slowed down (though not stopped), which means that color, texture, and quality do not degrade as rapidly once food is dried.

Read more at:

Start Here to educate yourself on the safety guidelines of the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

Value-added products

As soon as you process your produce (no longer in it’s original form), you need to charge sales tax for that item.  

For example, were you to sell a product like the canned salsa, you would need to account for 7% sales tax in Forsyth County (4.75% + 2.25%) on that sold product. 

Farm Tax presentation

Acidified foods

(salsa, tomato sauce) are allowed but vendors must attend specified training
  • Acidified Foods Processing School at NC State

Shared use/commercial kitchens:

Home Canning: