Bake Sale Guildlines
The below information should serve as a guideline for charitable, non-profit organizations in the sale of foods to the public through occasional bake sales. All inquiries related to your organization's bake sale should be directed to your local health department. -Alabama Department of Public Health
Because of certain inherent hazards associated with some foods, the Department of Public Health suggests limiting the items offered for sale.
1. All foods offered for sale should be limited to items that are not readily perishable and to those foods not normally associated with food poisoning outbreaks.
2. Suggested "safe" foods for bake sales are cakes, cookies, brownies, popcorn, breads, rolls, confections, and fruit pies. Use only commercially prepared ingredients.
3. All items such as cream-filled pie, custard-type pies, egg and salad dishes, and meat dishes should not be offered through this type of sale because of their potential to cause food-borne illnesses.
Should your organization plan to serve these type products, you must consult your local health department of specific instructions regarding preparation, storage and display of these food items.
WARNING: Never offer for sale home-canned foods at bake sales. Eating improperly canned vegetables, fruits, meat, fish or poultry may cause botulism, a highly fatal poisoning.
Make sure all ingredients are in good condition and are from an approved commercial source. Use Grade "A" dairy products and eggs.
Follow these suggestions before beginning food preparation:
1. Make sure work surfaces are cleaned and sanitized prior to use. Foods contaminated by germs in your kitchen could make someone sick. Contact your local health department of instructions on sanitizing.
2. Remove all poisonous items such as insecticides, detergents, cleaners, polishers, etc. from preparation area to prevent accidental contamination.
3. Refrain from preparing or handling food items for sale if you are suffering from a cold or any other infections such as skin rashes on your hands or arms, infected cuts, burns, boils, etc. Your illness can easily be spread through food to other people.
4. Exercise extra care with good hygienic practices. Wash your hands frequently with warm soapy water, especially after visits to the bathroom.
Notify the local health department in advance of your bake sale. Be prepared to give the date, time, location and name of your group or organization. Consider these following recommendations:
1. The sale should be held preferably in an enclosed area (church, community center, etc.) or at least in an area relatively free of dust and insects.
2. Post a sign at the sale indicating your group's name, the individual responsible, and a telephone number.
3. Keep a list of the names of the people who donated or prepared food and which item they donated.
4. Prepare all items no longer than 24 hours in advance of sale.
5. Wrap all items completely with clear plastic, plastic wrap, aluminum foil or other clean, single service covering.
6. Do not allow sampling at the sale site or allow container or packages to be opened by anyone until it is sold to the buyer.
REMEMBER! People trust you to protect them. The organization or individual responsible could be held responsible if anyone becomes ill from consuming sale products.
If you have any further questions, you may contact:
Office of Environmental Health and Safety
348-5905 or firstname.lastname@example.org