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Cooperative Extension: Food & Health

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Become a Community Resource For Food Preservation, Safety

University of Maine Cooperative Extension is offering a 10-session Master Food Preserver training program starting June 19 and ending Sept. 25.

Lectures, discussions and hands-on kitchen lab education will be conducted 10 Thursdays, 5:30-8:30 p.m., at Gorham Middle School, 106 Weeks Road, Gorham, and at the UMaine Extension Office, 75 Clearwater Drive, Falmouth.

A Master Food Preserver is a UMaine Extension volunteer who has successfully completed the practical, research-based program on food safety and preservation. Volunteers agree to give back 20 hours of time for community-based projects within a year. Projects could include hands-on food preservation workshops, staffing educational displays and demonstrations and providing information at farmers’ markets, county fairs, and other food-related events.

May 2 is the deadline to apply. Fees are on a sliding scale, from $125 to $330, based on household income. For more information or to request an application or disability accommodation, call 207.781.6099 or 1.800.287.1471 (in Maine). Or, for additional information, contact Kathleen Savoie, Extension Educator, 207.781.6099,

Online applications will be available March 31 at

Image Description: Preparing for canning

Cooking for Crowds Workshop

August 15th, 2013, 1:00-5:00 p.m.

Register online

UMaine Cooperative Extension Piscataquis County Office
165 East Main St. Dover-Foxcroft, ME
E-mail Amanda Miles at or call 207.564.3301 or 1.800.287.1491 (in Maine) to register

Food Safety Training for Volunteers

Many organizations and community groups rely on volunteers like you for a variety of food events for fundraising, fellowship, food pantries or other service to the community. But cooking for a crowd is tricky! How do you store all that food? When is the food completely cooked? How long can you leave food on the buffet table? Now there is a workshop on Safe Food Handling designed specifically for Volunteers.

This class meets the Good Shepherd Food Bank food safety training requirements.

Why attend?

There’s a lot to learn about safe food preparation and handling. If you don’t do it for a living, you may not be aware of all the special techniques involved in cooking for a large group of people.

It is scary to think about people getting sick from your meal, but it can happen. More than three quarters of the outbreaks are blamed on food eaten outside the home.

While food-borne illness can be as mild as stomach ache, it can be much more serious and sometimes fatal.

Unsafe food can “spoil” your group’s reputation — and its finances. Don’t take a chance. Sign up for the for the “Cooking for Crowds” workshop. Learn to protect yourself and the people you feed.

What you will learn

Learn up-to-date methods for safely preparing, handling and serving food for large group functions such as soup kitchens, church functions, food pantries and community fundraisers.

Workshops cover the following food safety guidelines:

  • Planning and Purchasing
  • Storing Food Supplies
  • Preparing Food
  • Transporting, Storing and Serving Cooked Foods
  • Handling Leftovers

Materials fee: $15.00/per person. Scholarships are available.

Participants receive

  • Cooking for Crowds – A manual specifically designed for volunteer cooks;
  • Certificate of Attendance;
  • Posters; and
  • Instant Read Thermometer.

If you are a person with a disability and need an accommodation to participate in this program, please call Amanda Miles at 207.564.3301 or 1.800.287.1491 (in Maine) to discuss your needs. Receiving requests for accommodations at least 10 days before the program provides a reasonable amount of time to meet the request, however all requests will be considered.

Image Description: Extension expert demonstrates cooking for crowds; photo by Edwin Remsberg

Food Safety Specialist Offers Grilling, Picnic Advice

With thousands of Maine residents and tourists preparing for Fourth of July grilling and picnicking, University of Maine Cooperative Extension food safety expert Jason Bolton in the UMaine Extension Bangor office is available to discuss food handling and cooking tips to keep food-borne illnesses at bay.

Bolton also discusses food safety while camping or hiking in a video posted on the UMaine News website. He can be reached at 207-942-7396.


University of Maine Cooperative Extension

Contact Information

Cooperative Extension: Food & Health
5741 Libby Hall
Orono, Maine 04469-5741
Phone: 207.581.3188, 800.287.0274 (in Maine) or 800.287.8957 (TDD)E-mail:
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469
A Member of the University of Maine System