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Food Safety Guidelines for Bake Sales

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?
Acceptable foods​ ​Unacceptable foods*
  • Yeast Breads​
  • Quick Breads
  • Cakes
  • Cupcakes
  • Cookies
  • Bars
  • Muffins
  • Candies
  • Dried Fruits
  • Fruit Pies
  • ​Cream-filled pastries
  • Pumpkin Pies
  • Meringues, frostings and fillings made with cream cheese
  • Meat pies
  • Perogies
  • Custards
  • Cabbage rolls
  • Cheesecakes
  • 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.