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This self-paced course provides research based information needed to safely and successfully preserve food at home. Participants of all levels of food preservation experience are welcome, including individuals with little or no previous food preservation experience. This course covers pressure canning, boiling water bath canning, steam canning, dehydration, and freezing. Highlights include preserving salsas, pie fillings, pickling, sweet spreads, and harvesting and storage of produce.


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Meet your instructor

Leslie Bertsch is a University of Missouri Extension Field Specialist in Nutrition and Health, as well as the state leader of for our food preservation programming. She has over five years of experience with the university and can answer any questions you may have about your food preservation journey. She is available for any questions or concerns about this course at, or you can post on the Course Questions discussion board.


What is this course about, anyway?

Quality for Keeps: Home Food Preservation evolved from a growing interest in home food preservation, access to local food and home gardening. Here is a full list of authors and contributors. This self-paced online course is designed to serve as a resource to anyone interested in home food preservation techniques. This course is comprised of research-based information to help consumers safely and effectively preserve food at home. If the research-based recommendations are followed correctly, users will have a safe product. Each module includes processes and techniques, best practices, tips, as well as handouts. Once the first three modules are completed (Welcome, Before You Start to Can, Learn the Basics, and Steps to Successful Home Canning) the rest of the modules will be unlocked and you may pick and choose which topics you wish to learn more about. 

The course is broken into the following 10 modules:

  1. Welcome
  2. Before You Start to Can, Learn the Basics
  3. Steps to Successful Home Canning
  4. Salsa and Fruit
  5. Sweet Spreads
  6. Pickling
  7. Dehydration
  8. Freezing
  9. Harvesting and Storing
  10. Wrapping up

What will I learn from this course?

Participants who successfully complete this course will be able to:

  • Understand the importance of safety as it relates to food preservation
  • List the various research-based safe methods of food preservation
  • Identify the three research-based safe methods of home canning foods based on the food's acidity level

How much time will this course take me, really?

We understand you're busy. Therefore, this course was designed as a self-paced course. If we were to quantify the entire course in hours, expect to spend between 4 to 5 hours. Each module should take about 30-45 minutes to read, review and complete. It is recommended that participants complete the modules in sequential order. Please feel free to refer to any modules that interest you.

Completion Criteria

Technically, there isn’t one. But if you complete all eight modules and the discussions within them, you will have successfully met the course outcomes. 

Following the completion of the last module you can click on a link to subscribe to a free bi-monthly food preservation newsletter for updates, tips and approved recipes. 

Food Preservation