CLINTON, Md. – Canning salsa, pickles, and other acidified foods for sale require special training. The University of Maryland Extension in Prince George’s County is offering the “Understanding Acidified Foods Workshop” on September 28, 8:30am – 5pm at the Prince George’s Soil Conservation District. The class is designed to teach small food processors the basic food safety requirements and regulation in the manufacture of acidified foods in Maryland.

According to the Food & Drug Administration (FDA), an acidified food is defined as “a low acid food with added acid or acid food(s) to obtain a pH of 4.6 or below, and a water activity greater than 0.85.” The pH value of 4.6 is important because it limits the growth of harmful microorganisms. Whether you have a business that you wish to expand, or you are in the planning stages, the “Understanding Acidified Foods Workshop” will help you determine the steps needed to bring an acidified value-added product to market safely.

The comprehensive course is taught by former University of Maryland faculty member, Dr. Y. Martin Lo. Dr. Lo is a well-published food bioprocess engineer with renowned research programs in value-added bioconversion of food and agriculture byproducts as well as development of food safety strategies.  Dr. Lo received the Outstanding Food Safety Research Award from the UN Human Health Organization in 2017, and the Presidential Volunteer Service Silver Medals from Presidents Obama and Trump in 2015 and 2016, respectively. He is a Fellow of the World Food Preservation Center, a FDA-recognized Process Authority, the Ambassador of the International Union of Food Science and Technology, and the founding Editor-in-Chief for Food Science & Nutrition.

The course includes two exams and covers the following topics:

  • Microbiology of Thermally Processed Foods
  • Prerequisites for Food Processing
  • Principles of Acidified Foods
  • Measurement & Control of pH
  • FDA Registration & Filing
  • Principles of Thermal Processing
  • Food Container Handling
  • Records & Recordkeeping

A fee of $200 per person and advanced registration is required to attend the workshop. The cost of this course is normally $250, but is subsidized through the University of Maryland Extensions’ Beginning Farmer Success project.

Registration (click here) must be postmarked by September 14. Fee includes materials, refreshments and lunch. Certificates will be issued at the end of class. Checks should be made payable to BioIntelliPro, LLC. The workshop will be held on September 28 (8:30am – 5pm) at the Prince George’s Soil Conservation District (5301 Marlboro Race Track Road, Upper Marlboro, MD 20772).

The Prince George’s County Farm Bureau is offering scholarships to current and/or new members, and the Southern Maryland Agriculture Development Commission (SMADC) is offering $100 scholarships to Southern Maryland producers who attend and successfully complete the course. Contact Kim Rush Lynch at or 301.868.8780 for details.