Vicki Menard

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September 17, 2013
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Tasty Tuesday: Be sure your canned salsa is safe

Plucking red ripe tomatoes, long green Anaheims and hot green-black jalapenos from your own backyard garden is the perfect inspiration for making a batch of salsa.

Ending the summer with just the right salsa ingredients ripening at the same time is always a goal for my garden. I pick out a variety of tomato and chile plants each spring at the Oregon State University Extension Service Master Gardeners Plant Sale in hopes they will bear fruit when I’ve got the time to throw them into a batch of salsa.

This year, the timing worked out just right for a salsa session. My garden plot didn’t yield enough for me to stock my winter pantry with salsa. But the flavorful concoction has spiced up quite a few recent meals.

If you’re making a winter’s worth of salsa as our summer turns to fall, remember that the only way to ensure your canned salsa is safe is to follow recipes approved by an Extension Service like OSU.

Simply putting the jars of salsa in a boiling water canner is not enough. The salsa must have the proper acid balance for the processing times to be accurate. Otherwise, the canned product could be a candidate for botulism, a foodborne illness that can cause sickness and death.

To ensure your salsa is canned in a healthy manner, follow the Laws of Salsa below, using an approved recipe. Some are included here today. Others can be found in the publication “Salsa Recipes for Canning,” a Pacific Northwest Extension publication (PNW 395) written by Val Hillers and Richard Doughtery. The brochure is available at the OSU Extension Office, 1134 S.E. Douglas Ave., Roseburg.

The same publication can be found online at In addition, you can have your food safety and preservation questions answered by the OSU Extension Service by calling the Food Safety/Preservation Hotline at 1-800-354-7319 between 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday through Oct. 11.

News-Review Editor Vicki Menard can be reached at or 541-957-4203.

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The News-Review Updated Sep 17, 2013 10:40AM Published Oct 1, 2013 11:44AM Copyright 2013 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.