Guidelines for Safe Bake Sales


An established club or organization of students, that operates under the authorization of a school or other educational facility, which gives or sells food at occasional events is not required to obtain a health permit. An occasional event means an event which occurs not more than 72 hours in any 90-day period. Bake sales are common fund raisers. However it’s important for organizers and bakers to be aware of good sanitary practice when planning or holding a sale. Care and thought must be given to preparation, transportation, display and serving of “homemade” varieties of foods sold to the public. Here is a list of safety recommendations for those conducting a bake sale:

The sponsor should retain a list of who donated what food items in case of any necessary follow up. Include the name, address, telephone number of the contributor, and the name or type of food donated.

Food should never be solicited or accepted from any person affected by a communicable disease or who is a known carrier of such a disease.

Products should be individually wrapped to protect them from contamination while they are being transported, stored or displayed. Tongs, tissues or other utensils should be used for necessary handling of unprotected single units during service.

The vehicle used to transport food should also be clean and maintained in good sanitary condition. Foods should not be transported along with family pets.

It is best to use approved (has a health permit) or organization (church, club) kitchens whenever possible for preparation of the food. Potentially high-risk foods, such as cream-filled pastries, custard and similar products, and meat, poultry, or fish in the form of salads or sandwiches should not be sold at bake sales.

Prior to preparing any foods, everyone should thoroughly wash their hands with soap and warm water. Hand washing is to be repeated after any act that could contaminate hands, such as coughing, eating, handling garbage or using the toilet. Prior to preparing any foods, all surfaces should be thoroughly cleaned and then sanitized. This can be accomplished by using a 100 ppm bleach solution (1/2 tsp bleach per quart of water).

Kern County Environmental Health Division, 2700 M Street, Suite 300, Bakersfield, CA 93301 661-862-8740