The Master Food Preserver (MFP) program is a public service community outreach providing up-to-date information on food safety and preservation. A Master Food Preserver is a volunteer who is formally educated in food preservation/food safety and is certified by a university cooperative extension. Volunteers are qualified to teach food preservation/food safety in addition to disseminating that information via lectures, talks and other county events.
Master Food Preserver volunteers answer food preservation questions from the public by email, web form, and phone; staff information booths and present food preservation demonstrations at county fairs and other local public events; develop and provide publications, educational materials, and web resources on all aspects of food preservation, including food safety, canning, freezing, drying, pickling, and preparing jams and jellies; and provide classes and workshops on home food preservation.
Residents of San Joaquin, Stanislaus or Merced counties who have an interest in teaching others about food preservation and food safety can apply to become a Master Food Preserver. Prior experience in food preservation is helpful but not required. Especially being sought are people with a strong volunteer ethic and a desire to make a long-term commitment to the program. Initial training consists of approximately 50 hours of instruction. Upon completing all sessions and passing a written exam, volunteers will be certified as agents of the University of California to provide instruction in food safety and preservation. There is a $200 fee for this training to cover the cost of books, training materials, and supplies.
The University of California Cooperative Extension of San Joaquin County trained its first Master Food Preservers in 2013. Since then more MFPs have been trained and have begun reaching out to the community. The next training is scheduled to begin on Jan. 4, 2016.
For more information on the training and to download the 2016 Master Food Preserver Training application, go to the website: http://ucanr.edu/sites/NSJMFP/.
The deadline for registration for the next training is Tuesday, Dec. 15. Applications can be mailed in to the San Joaquin County UCCE office at 2101 E. Earhart Ave., Suite 200, Stockton, CA 95206, faxed to 209-953-6128, or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact the San Joaquin County UC Cooperative Extension office at 209-953-6100 for additional information.