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Food Preservation Classes Offered

Ever have to throw away unused fruit or vegetables because you bought too much? According to Penn State Extension of Allegheny County, those days could be over when you learn to pickle and preserve your own food.

Penn State Extension will be offering classes on preserving food using research-based information. Class topics will include making jams and jellies, drying and freezing, pressure canning, pickling and relish making, and fall fruits.

Penn State Master Food Preserver Susan Marquesen said preserving food is a great way to save money.

"It's also a great way to save the food that you've grown during the summer, or the food that you can buy locally when it's in season, and then enjoy it through the winter months when there's a dearth of fresh, healthy things available locally."

Marquesen said if you don't know what you're doing, preservation can be dangerous. She said there is a lot of information available that's not accurate or tested.

"You need to know, especially for canning, which foods you can can in a hot water bath, which foods need to be canned in a pressure canner," Marquesen said.

According to the Penn State Preservation Website, botulism is a major concern in food preservation. Preserving herbs and vegetables in oil mixtures can support botulism growth. At least three outbreaks of botulism associated with garlic-in-oil mixtures have been reported in North America.

Each class costs $20, or $85 for all five. Classes will include instruction, a preserving demonstration, samples, and recipes. Registration instructions can be found on the Extension's website.