The toll-free hotline, 800-354-7319, runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, until Oct. 7. When the hotline is closed, callers can leave a message. The hotline is staffed by certified Master Food Preserver volunteers in Lane and Douglas counties. The volunteers fielded 1,487 calls to the hotline in 2021.
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 Safely Canning Foods: Pressure Canners, Pressure Cookers and Electric Pressure Cookers.
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 must complete an eight-week course to be certified and start volunteer shifts on the hotline.
Extension’s Ask an Expert, 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.
There’s also a free app – Canning Timer & Checklist – that provides reminders of essential steps in the canning process.
Additionally, several Extension offices offer free pressure canner dial gauge testing. Hotline volunteers can provide you with information specific to your county.
About the OSU Extension Service: The Oregon State University Extension Service shares research-based knowledge with people and communities in Oregon’s 36 counties. OSU Extension addresses issues that matter to urban and rural Oregonians. OSU Extension’s partnerships and programs contribute to a healthy, prosperous and sustainable future for Oregon.
About the OSU College of Public Health and Human Sciences: The first accredited college of public health in Oregon, the college creates connections in teaching, research and community outreach while advancing knowledge, policies and practices that improve population health in communities across the state and beyond.