LANSING — The Michigan State University Extension is hosting a series of free webinars on food safety and food preservation, as well as food science, preparing for an emergency, Michigan’s Cottage Law and feeding large groups.
The webinars, classes and Q&A sessions are hosted by experienced MSU Extension food safety educators, and will be held all year.
Joyce McGarry, food safety educator with the MSU extension, said some of the classes came about due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and others came about because people had questions. Some of the webinars, classes and sessions were held in-person in the past, but with the continued pandemic, McGarry said it made sense to put them online.
“More people are cooking at home,” McGarry said. “The question and answer one really came about because of the pandemic. We got so many questions on our consumer hotline about how to keep groceries and food safe and how to wash produce. When the pandemic first hit it was a huge fear. We chose to do a live broadcast so people could ask questions, and we’re continuing it because it became so popular.”
Another webinar on preserving food is being held because people are really starting to get back into canning and preserving food.
“We’re trying to get the info out there about preserving food safely,” McGarry said. “People want to do what they’ve done in the past; there’s a lot of homesteaders out there. People are blogging about it. Some of them are preserving food in an unsafe way.”
Some of the classes, like food readiness, is something many people need to know, especially where the weather can knock out power and clog roads.
“If the power goes out, people need to know how long food stays good,” she said. “What kinds of food should you throw away. People need to keep an emergency supply of food in case they can’t leave the home. Do people have enough to get by for three days? Is it non-perishable food? We need raise awareness.”
The following are the categories of food safety programs MSU Extension will be hosting:
• Winter Food Safety Question and Answer
Winter Food Safety Question and Answer sessions will be held at 1 p.m. every Monday with the next session on Feb. 1. The sessions will be on a variety of food safety topics on food safety subjects such as serving safely during a Super Bowl Party, cooling foods properly and keeping kitchens and equipment clean.
The register for these classes, visit events.anr.msu.edu/WinterQandA2021.
• Winter Food Preservation Series
Winter Food Preservation Series classes will be held at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. every Thursday with the next session held on Feb. 4. Sessions will be held on subjects ranging from home canning and preserving myths to making maple syrup to preparing to preserve a garden harvest.
To learn more and to register visit events.anr.msu.edu/WinterFoodPreservation2021.
• Investigating Food with Science
Investigating Food with Science classes will be held at 4 p.m. every Thursday, with the next session on Feb. 3. Sessions will be held on topics like melting ice with food, the science behind bread and “dancing” raisins.
To learn more and to register visit events.anr.msu.edu/InvestigatingFoodwithScience2021.
• Be Food Safe and Ready for Emergencies
Classes on being prepared for weather emergencies will be held on topics that include food safety, planning for farm issues, preparedness for seniors and youth, as well as becoming mindful when handling emergencies.
A class on emergency preparedness for seniors will be held at noon on Feb. 2, and a class on preparing youth for emergencies will be held at noon on Feb. 16. A class on managing stress on the farm will be held at noon on March 2. More may be held in the future.
To learn more or register, visit events.anr.msu.edu/EmergencyPreparednessFS20.
• Pantry Food Safety – It’s Your Job
Food safety training for volunteers or staff working in a food bank or food pantry will cover food safety guidelines for handling and receiving food products safety. After completing the Pantry Food Safety training participants will receive a certificate of completion. This 3-hour training is provided at no cost.
Sessions will be held from 2-5 p.m. on Feb. 22 and another from 2-5 p.m. on March 2. More may be planned in the future.
To learn more and to register visit events.anr.msu.edu/Winterpantryfoodsafety.
• Michigan Cottage Food Law Workshop
People can learn how to prepare and sell foods to the public under Michigan’s Cottage Food Law in a series of two-hour classes held from Feb. 10 to April 21. More may be planned in the future.
This two-hour workshop combines education about the Michigan Cottage Food Law and food safety aspects of preparing and selling cottage foods safely and successfully. Michigan Cottage Food Law allows residents to manufacture foods in home kitchens and store those products at home. Topics include preparing, packaging, labeling, storing and transporting cottage foods.
To learn more and to register for these events, visit events.anr.msu.edu/MichiganCottageFood.
• Cooking for Crowds
A volunteer guide to food safety, Cooking for Crowds classes educate groups who offer food fundraisers and events such as dinners and bake sales.
Classes come with a $15 registration fee which covers class along with food safety manual.
Classes will be held from 5:30-8:30 p.m. on Feb 16, from 5:30-8:30 p.m. on March 22. More may be planned in the future.
To learn more and to register visit events.anr.msu.edu/C4C2020.
• Safe Food = Healthy Kids
Safe Food = Healthy Kids is an interactive workshop designed for childcare providers. Learn what the best practices are for food safety to help keep kids safe.
A two-part class will be held from 1-2:30 p.m. on Feb. 8 and 10 and there will be a 6-9 p.m. class on Feb. 22 and March 16. More may be planned for the future.
To learn more and to register visit events.anr.msu.edu/SFHKWinter21.