It’s Canning Season! Local Food Safety and Preservation Hotline Offered by OSU Extension

As canning season gets underway, the Food Safety and Preservation hotline from Oregon State University Extension Service will start taking calls July 8.

The toll-free hotline, 800-354-7319, runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, until Oct. 11. When the hotline is closed, callers can leave a message. The hotline is staffed by certified Master Food Preserver volunteers in several Oregon counties. The volunteers fielded 806 calls in 2023.

Most commonly, hotline callers ask about preserving salsa, tomatoes and tuna. OSU Extension offers publications on each: “Salsa Recipes for Canning, “Canning Seafood,” “Canning Tomatoes and Tomato Products” and “Use, Care and Operation of Your Pressure Canner.”

Additional publications and fact sheets are available on the OSU Extension website.

Launched in 1980 in Lane County, the Master Food Preserver program has grown to include more than 300 Master Food Preservers who complete an eight-week course to be certified and volunteer on the hotline.

Ask Extension, an online question-and-answer service, is another way to get information. Extension experts can offer information about anything related to food preservation – from safety concerns to recipes – and strive to respond within two business days.

Additionally, several Extension offices offer free pressure canner dial gauge testing. Hotline volunteers can provide information specific to a county.

By Chris Branam

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