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Become a UCCE Master Food Preserver


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.

Application Process

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

Sign up for our mailing list to be kept in the loop for information regarding any future training class.

Scholarships may be available on a needs basis so please inquire early as funds are limited.

Contact: smsfpreservers@ucanr.edu

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 the 2023 training program is $500.
  • Attend all classes: a hybrid combination of 10 virtual classes combined with 5 in-person, hands on labs.
  • Only one class may be missed and must be completed outside of normal class time with a mentor.
  • Complete a Live Scan fingerprinting 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?  Send us an email:  smsfpreservers@ucanr.edu

The University of California Division of Agriculture & Natural Resources (UC ANR) is an equal opportunity provider.

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