Most bake sale items are considered to be “low risk” and are rarely associated with food-borne illness. However, any food can cause illness if it is miss-handled or contaminated.
Example: a parent may bake a batch of egg-based cookies but may not cook them to the proper temperature. This poses the risk of causing food-borne illness due to the possible presence of bacteria such as Salmonella.
How do you ensure a food-safe bake sale?
Ideally, all baked goods should be prepared in an inspected food premises with a trained food handler present. If an organization is willing to accept the liability for the baked goods prepared in private homes, the organization should:
- Develop guidelines for bake sales and distribute to all volunteers
- Provide adequate supervision at the bake sale
- Ensure only approved foods are prepared in private homes
What should be included in an organization’s guidelines for bake sales?
- Acceptable versus unacceptable foods
- Packaging requirements (single serve plates, or individual wraps)
- Proper labeling (name of product, name of who made the product, ingredients in order from highest amount to lowest amount)
- Safe food handling practices
Responsibility of bake sale supervisors
- Ensure the food sold is acceptable.
- Position foods with common allergens (i.e. peanuts) away from other baked goods.
- Ensure all food is prepackaged and is not displayed in open containers.
- Ensure hand-washing facilities are available. Attendants must wash their hands often during the sale and after they visit the washroom, cough, smoke or eat.
- Keep a donor list with the name, address and contact information of each person who prepared each food item.
- Maintain proper food safety practices throughout the sale.
What kinds of foods can be baked at home for sale?
- Yeast Breads
- Quick Breads
- Dried Fruits
- Fruit Pies
- Cream-filled pastries
- Pumpkin Pies
- Meringues, frostings and fillings made with cream cheese
- Meat pies
- Cabbage rolls
- Home-canned goods
Learn more about:
*If an organization wishes to sell these hazardous goods at an event, a Special Occasion Food Permit must be submitted to the Northwestern Health Unit.