In case you haven’t already heard: standard canning jar lids (flats) contain BPA in their white coated underside. This information was released two years ago. Because of the health concerns related to BPA, many people are seeking BPA-free alternatives.
One alternative is the Tattler reusable canning lid. These were developed in the 70s and have been used successfully since. Although they have been around for 40 years, they are gaining a lot of attention now because the reusable lids are BPA-free.
These lids sounded phenomenal, but I was curious what USDA thought of them in terms of safety, since they deviated from the standard one-use-only lids. I came across a set of handouts from a talk by Elizabeth Andress, the Director of the National Center for Home Food Preservation. Based exclusively on what is written on the slides, and without hearing her presentation, it seems that she does not have a concern with them in terms of safety in processing. USDA has not, however, documented seal rates using these lids, or maintenance of the vacuum in storage.
If I am interpreting this correctly, I believe it means that the product will be safe as long as the lid is sealed to the jar. The only question is how many will remain sealed in storage, but based on reviews I have read, consumers are very pleased with this product and have been since the 70s.
There does seem to be some concern with the use of formaldehyde in the Tattler lids, but this doesn’t appear to be an issue until temperatures exceed 482 Fahrenheit, which will not be achieved through home canning. I am no fan of plastic, but I am less a fan of BPA. It is a trade-off, for sure.
Weck Jars also appear to be an option (although I haven’t looked into the safety issue), but based on what I have seen are pretty pricey.
Are you concerned about BPA in home canned foods? What other alternatives are available?