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Guideline: Food Handling for Bake Sales/Fundraisers

Guideline: Food Handling for Bake Sales/Fundraisers

NMU Food Handling Guidelines for Bake Sales/Fundraisers

This information serves as a guide for “fund-raisers” (e.g., bake sales, candy sales, etc.) and “bake sales” conducted by residence hall students, student organizations and registered organizations approved by Housing and Residence Life, Center for Student Enrichment and Student Leader Fellowship Program.

Bake sales have always been popular social events in our campus community. They can provide excellent fundraising opportunities for NMU community groups and organizations. However, as in any situation where food is being prepared and offered for sale to the NMU public and those visiting campus, caution must be exercised to provide safe food. Although the traditional bake sale foods such as bread, buns, pies, cookies, and candies rarely cause illness, it is important to remember that under the right circumstances any food can cause food borne illness.

Northern Michigan University’s Food Policy makes the following recommendations for Bake sales and fund-raisers:

Items acceptable for sale

  • Breads- yeast, quick breads
  • Cakes (except cheesecakes or cream-filled)
  • Cookies
  • Bars
  • Muffins
  • Candies
  • Cupcakes (except cream-filled)
  • Popcorn

Items NOT acceptable for sale (may support bacterial growth)

  • Cheesecake
  • Pumpkin, cream, or custard pie
  • Home made fruit pies
  • Cream-filled cupcakes or doughnuts
  • Frosting and fillings with cream cheese  
  • Homemade ice cream

Warning: Never offer home-canned foods. Eating improperly canned vegetables, fruits, meat, fish, or poultry may cause botulism, a fatal poisoning.

The following guidelines have been developed to ensure appropriate safety and sanitation. It is the responsibility of group members to follow these guidelines.

General Guidelines

  1. Food prepared for sale by residence hall or on-campus apartment groups should, whenever possible, be purchased from Dining Services. Food purchased from Dining Services should be ordered at least two weeks in advance of the sale date. Dining Services reserves the right to refuse to sell easily perishable food (i.e., potato salad, egg salad, macaroni salad, etc.) to any student group for consumption or resale.
  2. Organizations sponsoring food sales should pick up/purchase the food as close to the sale date as possible.
  3. The preparation of food for sale by members of residence hall or apartment groups must be conducted in University approved facilities (i.e. residence hall kitchenettes) and may not be conducted in student rooms.
  4. When handling food for sale on campus and in residence hall areas, those people handling the food (whether during preparation or serving) should wear appropriate protective clothing (e.g., disposable plastic gloves and caps or hairnets).
  5. Door-to-door sales are prohibited.


Specific Food Handling Guidelines


  1. Clean to prevent the spread of harmful bacteria, wash hands, kitchen utensils and surfaces often.
  • All food handlers must wash their hands with soap and water prior to handling food, frequently during the sale, and after visiting the restroom.
    • Use soap and warm, running water.
    •  Wash all surfaces thoroughly, including wrists, palms, back of hands, fingers, and under the fingernails.
    • Rub hands together for at least 20 seconds.
    • Rinse thoroughly and dry with a paper towel.
  • Use plastic or other non-porous cutting boards. Carefully wash them, utensils, and counter tops with hot soapy water after preparing each food item before going on to the next one and after use.
  • Paper towels are preferred. If cloth towels are used, they should be washed often in hot water.
  • Rub firm-skin fruits under running water or scrub with a clean vegetable brush while rinsing with running tap water, including those with skins and rinds that are not eaten.


  1. Separate Bacteria can spread from one food product to another, especially raw meat, poultry, seafood and eggs. Experts caution individuals to keep them and their juices away from ready-to-eat foods.
    • Separate raw meat, poultry, seafood and eggs from other food in the grocery cart, grocery bags and in your refrigerator. Store raw meets on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator so juices don’t drip onto other foods.
    • If possible, use one cutting board for raw meat products and another for fresh produce and other ready-to-eat foods.
    • Always wash cutting boards, knives and other utensils with hot soapy water after they come in contact with raw meat, poultry and seafood.
    • Never place food items on a plate which previously held raw meat, poultry or seafood.
  2.   Cook to Proper Temperature, Food is safely cooked when it reaches a high enough internal temperature to kill the harmful bacteria that cause foodborne illness.
    1. Use a meat thermometer; which measures the internal temperature of cooked meat and poultry, to make sure that the meat is cooked all the way through.
    2. Cook roasts and steaks to a minimum of  145°F. Whole poultry should be cooked to 180°F.
    3. Cook ground meat, where bacteria can spread during grinding, to at least 160°F. If a thermometer is not available, do not eat ground beef that is still pink inside.
    4. Cook eggs until the yolk and white are firm, not runny. Don't use recipes in which eggs remain raw or only partially cooked.
    5. Cook fish to 145°F or until it is opaque and flakes easily with a fork.
    6. Make sure there are no cold spots in food (where bacteria can survive) when cooking in a microwave oven. For best results, cover food, stir and rotate for even cooking. If there is no turntable, rotate the dish by hand once or twice during cooking.
    7. Bring sauces, soups and gravy to a boil when reheating. Heat other leftovers thoroughly to 165°F.
  3. Refrigerate Promptly Refrigerate foods quickly to prevent harmful bacteria from growing and multiplying. Set the refrigerator temperature at 40°F or below and the freezer at 0°F or below and occasionally check these temperatures with an appliance thermometer.
    • Refrigerate or freeze perishables, prepared food, and leftovers within two hours, (one hour when the temperature is above 90°F).   
    • Never defrost or marinate food on the kitchen counter. Use the refrigerator, cold running water or the microwave.
    • Divide large amounts of leftovers into small, shallow containers for quick cooling in the refrigerator.
    • With poultry and other stuffed meats, remove the stuffing and refrigerate it in a separate container.
    • Don’t pack the refrigerator. Cool air must circulate to keep food safe.


  1. Transporting Food
    • Food should be tightly wrapped or sealed during transport to protect from dust, dirt, and insects.
    • Vehicles used to transport food should be clean and maintained in good sanitary condition.
    • Food should not be transported with pets.

The sponsor should maintain a list of contributors to the bake sale, including their names, addresses, and telephone numbers and the type of food donated. Consider labeling food with name, address, and phone number of contributor.

Approved By:President