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Become a UCCE Master Food Preserver

MFP's, Pickles & Sauerkraut (2)




The UC Master Food Preserver Program of San Mateo & San Francisco Counties is open to individuals looking to increase community knowledge in home food preservation methods. Applicants for the UC Master Food Preserver Program must be willing to share knowledge and skills learned from certification training through local community outreach. Prior food preservation knowledge is not a requirement; willingness to teach others is.

Examples of community outreach from UC Master Food Preservers: 

  • Classes and workshops
  • Hands-on demonstrations 
  • County fairs 
  • Websites and blogs
  • Print and digital media

How UC Master Food Preservers make a difference:

  • Teach safe and food preservation methods in local communities 
  • Share knowledge about preserving fresh and healthy produce 
  • Prevent botulism in home canning 
  • Promote research-based methods of food handling and food preparation 

Volunteer Training:

UC Master Food Preserver volunteers receive an intensive 50 hour training program in home food preservation. Instruction provides practical courses in the following topics

  • Food safety
  • Boiling water and atmospheric steam canning
  • Pressure canning
  • Canning jams & jellies
  • Pickling and fermenting
  • Dehydrating fruits and vegetables
  • Freezing foods

Classes meet several times a month, with multiple hands-on labs to learn the food preservation techniques, with outside study in addition to class time. Quizzes, special projects and a final examination prepares the trainees to begin their first year of volunteer service.

Who Can Apply

  • San Mateo & San Francisco county residents. 
  • Applicants must be comfortable using a computer and accessing the internet. Class lessons, quizzes and homework are online; class communication is via email and Zoom.

How to Apply

Attend one of two online informational meetings to learn more about the volunteer requirements as well as the selection and training process. Each session lasts one hour and will be recorded. Attendance or viewing of the information meeting is a mandatory pre-requisite to apply.

Applications coming soon. Please keep checking our website!


What We’ll Do

  • Review applicants. Main criteria for acceptance: 1) prior community service, 2) experience teaching, either by giving presentations, writing, or in one-on-one situations, 3) experience/interest in home food preservation.
  • Request a DOJ Clearance, including fingerprinting.
  • Teach you how to preserve food successfully using scientifically researched home processes.
  • Teach you how to educate our community about safe home food preservation.
  • Provide you with plenty of fun volunteer and continuing education opportunities.

What You’ll Do If Accepted

  • The fee for 2021 was $375. The fee for the next course has not been determined.
  • Attend the 18 classes: the next date has not been determined. Hands-on lab classes will be scheduled once in-person activities resume. Only one class may be missed and must be completed outside of normal class time with a mentor.
  • Complete the Live Scan fingerprinting process. See the Live Scan Process Webpage for instructions, downloading the form and completing the process.
  • Complete 50 volunteer hours your first full program year, then 25 volunteer and 12 continuing education hours each year thereafter.
  • Pass an annual food safety reappointment quiz.
  • Have fun!

If you have residence in another county please see the Find a UC Master Food Preserver Program website to find your nearest program.

Questions?  Contact us by email!


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