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Clackamas County, Oregon Sea Grant programs adapt to COVID-19 teaching guidelines

Northwest waters provide an abundance of seafood suitable for home canning.

In a normal year, Oregon State University Extension Service Master Food Preserver volunteers in Clackamas County offer hands-on workshops to teach community members how to safely can tuna at home using a pressure canner.

PHOTO COURTESY: KIMBERLY JACOBSEN - Kelly Streit and Amanda Gladics of OSU Extension star in a video on home seafood canning that was filmed in Clackamas County."The workshop takes roughly five hours and participants walk away with several jars of tasty canned tuna to share with their families," according to Kelly Streit, a registered dietitian with the Family & Community Health Program. "More importantly, they also gain knowledge, skills and confidence to home can their own tuna in the future."

Due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, hands-on food preservation workshops are not an option in Clackamas County currently, but the Extension Service is quickly adapting and creating new ways to deliver science-based education to the community, including producing video demonstrations.

In August, the OSU Extension, FCH and Oregon Sea Grant programs collaborated to produce a demonstration video titled "Home Canning of Oregon Seafood."

"We are canning tuna loins that I purchased in Astoria … during the height of tuna season," said Amanda Gladics, a faculty member with the Oregon Sea Grant and the Extension Service's fisheries program. "It was blast frozen at sea, which means it was very quickly frozen to a low temperature as a whole fish and then thawed out so it could be filleted."

The video demonstration includes step-by-step instructions for preparing the pressure canner, filling the jars, loading the canner, monitoring the canning process and checking jar seals prior to storage. Additional resources related to home canning of seafood are also referenced during the video, including the "Home Freezing of Seafood" and "Canning Tuna Factsheet."

Streit hopes that by watching the video, viewers will gain the knowledge and confidence that they need to try home canning Oregon seafood on their own, similar to what they would have gained by participating in a hands-on workshop. Gladic hopes it will inspire people to visit for recipes and resources for enjoying seafood harvested in Oregon.

Watch the Home Canning of Oregon Seafood video at

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