Ensuring safe and secure food
MSU Extension food safety and preservation programs provided to Montcalm County residents help to stimulate the local economy by encouraging locally grown and purchased foods.
Reducing foodborne illness through education of individuals and small businesses
The National Institutes of Health estimates that every year, 48 million people in the United States become ill and 3,000 die from pathogens in food. Causes range from outdated home food preservation practices to unsafe sanitizing practices at public events and small businesses. Since 2013, MSU Extension food safety and preservation programs have taught almost 10,500 Michigan residents safe food handling, food preservation and methods to reduce foodborne illness.
Participants include youth, nonprofit organizations that prepare food for the public and food preservers who want to create safe products for their small businesses.
Through face-to-face programming provided by Extension Educator, Joyce McGarry, and online learning, Montcalm County participants receive high-quality, research-based education using U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines for safe food preservation.
Food preservation online course
It is important for individuals to stay up to date on the latest research for home food preservation, recipes and processing times, as they are constantly under review and being updated. MSU Extension’s Online Home Food Preservation course is a self-paced program that instructs science based recommended methods for safe home food preservation, regardless of a person’s experience with preserving foods.
This course will help people avoid dangerous, life-threatening contamination of foods. Individuals will feel confident in processing their produce and feeding their families safe, healthy foods. Home food preservation stimulates the local economy by encouraging locally grown and purchased foods and for individuals and families to grow their own gardens.
This course includes a variety of preservation methods and skills from drying foods, using a dehydrator, freezing and blanching which requires little time or equipment, to a more advanced pressure canning. Each of the seven segments discusses the equipment and tools needed to safely process food.