PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA

Prospecting

Master food preservers: Serving the community with food safety information

By From page B4 | February 25, 2011

The El Dorado County Master Food Preservers stand ready to serve the community with information about proper food safety and home food preservation.

The Cooperative Extension service organization includes members from all segments of the community, including those from many different age groups, professions and backgrounds. The common thread between the volunteers, food preservation, extends to the community through various programs.

The MFP members share their knowledge with the public through a series of free public education classes.

A Master Food Preserver conducts each class with the help of fellow volunteers. The classes run smoothly, with information and demonstrations of techniques. The public audience always provides plenty of questions which receive cheerful answers from the Master Food Preserver volunteer staff.

Stump the staff?

Someone will investigate immediately and return with an answer.

The Master Food Preservers also staff a booth at the El Dorado County Fair. Volunteers on hand answer questions about safe home food preservation and encourage public attendance at the classes.

In addition to the booth, the MFP program trains judges for fairs throughout the state. The MFP volunteers who wish to judge at the fairs undergo a vigorous course to acquire the knowledge and skill necessary to determine which products receive a blue ribbon and which do not.

As part of a community outreach project, the MFP volunteers stand available to the public for various events. Any group or club requesting a demonstration or lecture may call the MFP office to organize volunteers to cover the event. The MFP volunteers love to encourage the public in any way to learn about and enjoy the benefits of safe home food preservation.

Anyone interested in learning and sharing the current, cutting edge details of safe home food preservation may sign up now for training classes to become a Master Food Preserver.

The classes take place under the auspices of the University of California, Davis, and are held on Tuesdays and Saturdays. The first class begins on March 1, and the series runs through the first week in May. This course includes lecture and hands on practice at every class. The knowledge dispersed is invaluable.

The cost for the course, which includes detailed notes, hand-outs, recipes and certification as a Master Food Preserver, is $60.

Applications can be found at ceeldorado.ucdavis.edu/Master_Food_Preservers/Master_Food_Preserver_Training_Application.htm, or call the number below to reach the Master Food Preserver message center.

After being certified as a member of Master Food Preservers you would volunteer at least 35 hours a year in food safety and preserving outreach and education projects and, complete 12 hours of continuing education annually.

Questions about safe home food preservation.

Call the Master Food Preservers and leave a message at 530-621-5506. A Master Food Preserver will return the call.

For more information about the public education classes and activities, including the free public classes on food safety and pressure canning, be sure to go to the Master Food Preserver Website at ceeldorado.ucdavis.edu/Master_Food_Preservers/.

Ora Emmerich

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