You have seen us at the County Fair! You may have even attended one of our FREE Food Preserving classes. UCCE Master Food Preserver volunteers are agents of the University of California and work through the UC Cooperative Extension to educate the community on the safe practices of food preservation, including pickling, sausages, preserves and much more.

This website is designed to help you find information about food safety and information about your local Master Food Preservers.

  • Questions About Food Preservation?
  • Need a speaker for your organization?
  • Interested in attending a food preservation class?
  • We provide FREE Pressure Canner Dial-Gauge Testing - should be done annually! Call our office to arrange a time to drop off your dial-gauge (or entire canner). One of our volunteers will test it and document the status. 

Have You Purchased A New Mirro Weighted Gauge Canner?


Mirro weighted gauge canner
The newest version of the Mirro weighted gauge canner looks like this, and has three separate selective control weights, one for 5, 10 and 15 psi. The instructions for this model say to set the stove temperature to allow the pressure control to gently rock or jiggle continuously while processing.


But that’s not how the redesigned canner works. Unfortunately the canner was updated but the canning instructions were not. The Mirro weighted gauge canner now hisses once every 15-20 seconds instead of rocking continuously when it is at pressure. That’s kind of important to know.

There are several other differences between the instructions and actual operating procedures. Click here to download updated instructions for steps 10-17 to make sure you operate your new Mirro weighted gauge canner correctly.

Canning on Smooth Cooktops

UCCE Master Food Preserver volunteers are frequently asked about canning on smooth cooktop stoves.  It depends on the manufacturer's recommendation. Get more information from the National Center for Home Food Preservation about preserving on smooth cooktop stoves.

Get Ready: Perishable Food and Power Outages

With the possibility of extended power outages in multiple locations in California, there are several options for keeping refrigerated and frozen food safe if you don’t have a generator. Prep now to buy dry ice or ice blocks for your refrigerator; food will only stay cold for 4-6 hours once the power goes out. A full freezer will stay frozen about 2 days, as long as you keep it closed. Click here for suggestions from the USDA about preparing perishable food before the power goes out, during the power outage and when the power comes back on. You still have time to freeze some of your perishables, to crank down the temperature, and to fill your fridge and freezer with frozen water bottles. Click on the image to see the full-sized image and text.

Keep Your Food Safe During Emergencies: Power Outages, Floods & Fires

Power Outage Safety Note