Bake Sales / Potlucks



Potluck food items are items that are prepared in the home kitchen of a member or person attending an event. Potlucks are generally associated with a specific event such as a meeting, service or other scheduled event that is not advertised to the public. Potluck foods can be potentially hazardous foods, as well as non-potentially hazardous foods. Potluck food items can ONLY be served to the members of the church, club or organization holding the event and cannot be offered to the general public. If the food items are consumed during or after the event, no license is required.

Bake Sales

Non-time/temperature control for safety (TCS) foods, usually baked goods prepared at the organizations facility or in the home of members. Sale of the baked goods is used for fundraising purposes for tax-exempt non-profit organizations (for the sponsoring organization only). No license is required.

Time/Temperature Control for Safety (TCS) Foods: Foods that require refrigeration, heat or time to be used to control the growth of pathogenic (things that can make you sick) bacteria. TCS foods include, but are not limited to: any food that consists in whole or in part of milk or milk products, shell eggs, meats, poultry, fish, shellfish, edible crustacean, baked or boiled potatoes, tofu and other soy-protein foods, plant foods that have been heat-treated, raw seed sprouts, cut leafy greens, cut tomatoes, cut melons, garlic-in-oil (or other vegetables immersed in oils) or synthetic ingredients.

Requirements for Food Events

If your church, club or organization is planning an activity which includes serving a meal to the public, whether free, for sale or for donation, the Health Department has the following requirements:

  • All meals served to the public, must be prepared and served from a licensed kitchen, either a permanent licensed kitchen or a temporarily licensed kitchen. Exception: potlucks and bake sales, which have different requirements.
  • To determine whether or not a temporary license will be required for your event, contact the Health Department 734-240-7900. A fee is required for licensing. Call the Health Department for a copy of the "Guidelines for Temporary Food Service Establishments" or it can be found at Temporary Food Establishment Operations Checklist.

Recommendations for Potlucks

  • Hot foods should be maintained at an internal temperature of 135º F or higher. Reheated Foods must reach 165º F or higher within 2 hours and then they can be reduced to 135º F for holding or serving. Cold foods should be maintained at 41º F or colder during service or storage. Refer to specific temperature list under "Food Handling Checklist".
  • Basic Equipment: Stab thermometer (for checking food temperatures), disposable gloves (to protect ready to eat foods from bare hand contact, to cover cut or scraped hands, long or painted nails), chlorine bleach (for sanitizing food contact surfaces - use one tablespoon per gallon of warm water) and hair restraints or ball caps for all staff working at the event.
  • Maintain List: Name, address and phone number of each person who prepared an item for the event, including what they prepared. Food should be transported to the event in a clean vehicle with proper temperature control. Post a sign indicating that these items are "Home Prepared Items".
  • Food Handlers: should not be ill, have an "asymptomatic" illness, or open cuts or wounds. Handlers should not be permitted to use tobacco, eat or drink while handling foods. Proper hand washing should be strictly enforced after restroom use, smoking, drinking, eating, or handling of garbage or dirty dishes.

Recommendations for Bake Sales

  • All baked goods should be individually wrapped in plastic, foil or waxed paper.
  • Maintain List: Name, address and phone number of each person who prepared an item for the event, along with what they prepared. Post a sign indicating that these items are "Home Baked Goods".
  • Food Handlers: Do not allow anyone who is ill or has an "asymptomatic" illness, open cut or wound to prepare or serve food for the bake sale.
  • Enforce a strict hand washing policy for food handlers. Wash hands after restroom use, smoking, eating, or drinking and before returning to food handling duties. Provide disposable gloves for persons with minor cuts or abrasions, long and painted nails. Change gloves between tasks or as often as hands would require washing.

Food Handling Checklist

  • Stab Thermometer: Check hot and cold temperatures.
  • Chlorine Bleach or Equivalent with test strips: Sanitation of food preparation surfaces.
  • Hand Washing Facilities: Soap and disposable towels.
  • Disposable Gloves: Change between tasks or as often as needed.
  • Designate: "Contact Person".
  • List: Persons, addresses, phone numbers and food items contributed to the event.
  • Post Sign: "Home Baked Goods" for Bake Sales and "Home Prepared Items" for a potluck meal.
  • Discuss with Food Handlers: Temperature requirements and hand washing policy.
  • Designate: Smoking, eating and drinking area in a non-food prep area for food handlers.
  • Contact: Health Department at least 10 days prior to event for licensing information.
  • Hair nets or ball caps: Worn by all food handlers.
  • Internal Cooking Temperatures:
    • Poultry and Stuffed Meats: 165º F for 15 seconds
    • Ground Beef and Pork: 155º F for 15 seconds
    • Pork, Ham, Sausage, Bacon: 155º F for 15 seconds
    • Beef Roasts: 140º F for 12 minutes
    • Reheating Foods: 165º F for 15 seconds within 2 hours
    • Holding Hot Foods: 135º F or above
    • Holding Cold Foods: 41º F or below