UGA Extension Office

Food Safety and Food Preservation

Produce Food Safety

This course is intended for fresh fruit and vegetable growers such as small farmers or community/school garden volunteers interested in learning more about safely growing produce. It will provide an introduction to best practices for the cultivation, harvesting, and transport of fresh produce. Topics covered include land, water, compost, hygiene, facilities and equipment, and produce transportation.

Upcoming Produce Food Safety class: Call (404) 613-4913 for more information.

Food Preservation

As interest in home canning, freezing, and drying continues to grow, Extension offers information, you can trust to make your food preservation efforts safe and successful. Visit the National Center for Home Food Preservation for more information.

Interested in purchasing the 6th edition of UGA Extension's So Easy to Preserve book? Please visit So Easy to Preserve.

So Easy to Preserve publication

Serv-Safe Manager Training

The ServSafe Managers Training is a food safety training program approved by DHR and includes 12 hours of instruction, a certificate from NRAEF issued upon successful completion of the exam. To register, please visit the ServSafe Manager Training registration site.

Extension Publications

  • Developing a Recall Plan: A Guide for Small Food Processing Facilities (B 1509) The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) defines a recall as actions taken by a firm to remove a product from the market. A well-designed recall plan will help to effectively locate the recalled product, remove it from the market, and locate the source of error in the product. It serves a guide for the company to follow if a situation requiring a recall presents itself. Recalls can be conducted on a firm's own initiative, by FDA request, or by FDA order under statutory authority. If a situation requiring a recall does present itself, it is in the company’s best interest to recall a product before an outbreak occurs.
  • So Easy To Preserve (B 989) The 6th edition of this popular book is available for purchase only. The 388-page book covers topics on Preserving Food, Canning, Pickled Products, Sweet Spreads and Syrups, Freezing and Drying. There are 10 new products and two revised product recommendations in this edition. It's suitable for both new and veteran food preservers. Information on how to purchase this for-sale publication is available at:
  • Food Safety Tips for Preparing a Holiday Turkey (C 1226) This publication covers safe thawing, cooking, and storing a turkey, including current estimates of the time needed for safe thawing and cooking. The USDA recommends three ways to defrost turkeys: in the refrigerator, in cold water, or in the microwave. Because bacteria can multiply rapidly at room temperature, never defrost a turkey on the counter! The cold water and microwave methods may be used when you don't have time to thaw your turkey in the refrigerator. When cooking, set the oven temperature to no lower than 325 °F. Place your turkey on a rack in a shallow roasting pan large enough to hold the turkey and a food thermometer. Check the internal temperature in several locations, being sure to include the wing joint, the innermost part of the thigh and wing, and the thickest part of the breast. Whole poultry is safe when the meat is cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 165 °F as measured with a food thermometer. All turkey meat, including any that remains pink, is safe to eat as long as all parts reach at least 165 °F. If the turkey has a “pop-up” temperature indicator, we recommend that a food thermometer also be used to test in several places, including the innermost part of the thigh and wing and the thickest part of the breast, to ensure the internal temperature has reached at least 165 °F. Cut the turkey into small pieces and refrigerate turkey, stuffing, and gravy separately in shallow containers within 2 hr of cooking; use leftover turkey, stuffing, and gravy within 3–4 days or freeze these foods. For best quality, use frozen leftovers within 2 to 6 months.