Courses and resources for your home or  business to help ensure food is prepared, stored, and served safely.


 home canning

Home Food Preservation Resources

Food Preservation Fridays Series information 

Food preservation has spanned generations and millennia as a way to safely enjoy quality seasonal food throughout the year.  

Proper canning preserves food from spoilage and destroys microorganisms that could cause foodborne illness for you, a family member, or others consuming these foods. To ensure SAFE food preservation, MSU Extension recommends ONLY using up-to-date, research-tested recipes exactly when home canning or preserving foods. Save non-research approved or family recipes for eating immediately or freezing.

“When in doubt”, to test your pressure canner yearly, to find a food preservation class (available in some counties), or for other food preservation questions contact your local MSU Extension county office!

Resources and publications provided here have been developed or reviewed for research-based information by MSU Extension Food & Nutrition Specialists and Agents.

If you have questions please contact your local MSU Extension county office.

MSU Extension has created many MontGuides detailing safe processes for preserving foods.

Each MSU Extension Montguide may be viewed online, as a downloadable pdf, or may be ordered, free of charge, from MSU Extension Publications with details found at each link below. These publications may also be available in-person at your local MSU Extension county office in some locations! 

View and/or Download Available Food and Nutrition Montguides

  Canning Freezing Drying
Major equipment needed Canners, canning jars and lids Freezer, packaging materials Dehydrator, if used (could be done outdoors in low humidity or in an oven)
Energy requirements Relatively low, if recommended precedures are followed Relatively high (storage requires energy) Low for dehydrator or sun drying; higher for oven drying
Preparation time Long Medium Short
Processing Time  Medium-Long Short Long
Resemblance of preserved vegetable to fresh vegetable Some losses of vitamins and minerals, especially when liquid is discarded Closest to nutrient value of fresh product Losses of vitamins A and C, but sulfuring helps protect against this
Serving convenience High High Medium
Source: So Easy to Preserve Version 6




 food safety

Food Safety

You can help prevent foodborne illness in your home, business and community.

MSU Extension, in cooperation with other certified instructors and agencies, is pleased to offer in-person food safety trainings and resources in accordance with state of Montana guidance. Additionally, see information below regarding three Montana approved online food safety trainings.

State Food Safety

State Food Safety Website

Online certification training with online proctored exam costs $124.00

8 hours of mobile-friendly online training, a free practice test and an online proctored exam.

State Food Safety Food Safety Manager Certification Information 

How to take the food manager certification exam while social distancing

Information for online proctored exam


Learn2Serve food manager certification course information

Montana Learn2Serve Food Manager Certification Course information

Cost is $99.00

Take an 8-hour online training course that reviews the food safety principles you need to know to pass the exam, as well as prevent foodborne illnesses. The Food Protection Manager Certification Exam is proctored online using the webcam on the computer. The exam will be proctored by one of our online proctors. Our online proctoring is available Monday – Friday between 7am to 10pm (CST). To access your exam, simply launch the course in the 360training LMS and follow the steps provided.  Detailed instructions for the online exam


Servsafe website

Offers online Manager Certification Training; not offering online proctoring for online exams at this time.

Cost for online training and online exam voucher $152.92

Must complete the online course within 90 days of launching it.

No time limit between completing the class and taking the certification exam (The online exam voucher does not expire.)

Professionals take the online training, then they need to find their own proctor to oversee the online exam.

       Options for finding a proctor to administer the online exam:

  1. Contact your local county Extension Agent
  2. Contact your local county Health Department, Registered Sanitarian
  3. Use the Find a Proctor tool on the Montana Department of Health and Human Services website (please note, this list may not include all proctors).
  4. Use the zip code search tool to find a proctor near you on the ServSafe website.

National Registry of Food Safety Professionals

Visit the Exam Center for all information and links

Offers online Manager Certification Training and online proctored exam

Food Manager Certification training –easy, flexible training options, including self-study and online courses

Food Safety Manager Certification Training Information

NRFSP Online Training Portal                         

Certification is good for 3 years

Offers 2 self-study courses (via printed study guides) to prepare for the exam –

Each study guide costs <$30.00; online proctored exam costs $34.00= total cost $64.00  


Prometric Website

Prometric Food Safety Testing

Prometric Certified Professional Food Manager Exam 

Online proctoring available

SURE Food Safety Manager Online Course w/ Exam Option online training costs $135.00 plus cost of the manual $26.95 = total $161.95

Paster Training Inc.

Paster Training Home

Paster Food and Beverage Safety Training Information

SURE Food Safety Manager Online Training and Exam

Many in-person trainings have been canceled or postponed due to the current public health COVID-19 situation.  See online training and exam options above or contact your local Extension or Sanitarian to see if they are able to proctor in-person Servsafe exams at this time. Please note, while the Serv Safe certification course has typically been the most common choice in Montana, any of the above online Manager certification options are approved for use in Montana. 

Check out listing for upcoming classes through MSU Extension or partner agencies in your area. Contact your local Sanitarian in your county Environmental Health office to determine if there are other course options not listed. 


September 22, 2020

registration & fee due Sept 15

8-hour Servsafe Food Manager 

Cascade County Extension
Fee $125 food will not be provided (you will have an hour for lunch on your own)

Contact Katrin Finch or
call 406-454-6980

September 22, 2020
registration due by Sept 11

8-hour Servsafe Food Manager

Big Horn County Extension
To register or for more information:

Contact Holly Miner


October 13, 2020

registration & fee due Oct 6

8-hour Servsafe Food Manager 

Cascade County Extension
Fee $125 food will not be provided (you will have an hour for lunch on your own)

Contact Katrin Finch or 
call 406-454-6980

November 9, 2020

registration & fee due Nov 2

8-hour Servsafe Food Manager 

Cascade County Extension
Fee $125 food will not be provided (you will have an hour for lunch on your own)

Contact Katrin Finch or 
call 406-454-6980

Upon Request

8-hour Servsafe Manager
4-hour Food handler

Richland County
Stephanie Ler at 406-433-2207 or Carrie Krug at 406-433-1206

Upon Request

8-hr Servsafe Food Manager
4-hr Servesafe Food handler

Mike Callaghan



ServSafe is a nationally recognized food safety training program for the food service industry personnel. Created and managed by the National Restaurant Association, it combines critical information, exclusive tools, and real-world resources to transform knowledge into action. ServSafe has evolved to meet the most urgent food safety training challenges in the food service industry and offers the highest standard of food safety training and certification.


Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services provides guidance and FAQ’s around the registration and appropriate sale of homemade or home-canned foods. Contact your local Sanitarian in your county Environmental Health office for specific cottage food guidance in your county. For assistance with cottage food label development (available in some counties) or answering food preparation questions your local MSU Extension agent.

MT DPHHS Cottage Food Resources