We would like to hold a bake sale. What do we need to do?

When a bake sale is held in a manner such that the food is prepared by and sold exclusively to members of a distinct group and where the general public is not invited, such as a school bake sale operated by a parent-teacher association or a bake sale held by members of a congregation during a church function, a permit would not be required. This is consistent with the State Sanitary Code §14-1.20, which excludes from the definition of a food service establishment those “food service operations where a distinct group mutually provides, prepares, serves and consumes the food such as a ‘covered dish supper’ limited to a congregation, club or fraternal organization.”

When a bake sale is held in such a manner that the food is being openly sold to members of the general public, such as a stand or table at a lawn fete or similar community event, then a temporary food establishment permit is usually required, and all the requirements of NY State Sanitary Code subpart 14-2 also apply, including those related to approved sources of food.

Exceptions to the temporary food establishment permit requirement for sales to the public at a community event may occur when the “community event” is considered a “retail agricultural venue”, such as a farmer’s market, flea market or craft fair. Those venues would fall under NYS Agriculture and Markets regulation, and NY State Agriculture and Markets should be contacted regarding requirements they may have.

For more information, please call the Erie County Department of Health Environmental Health Division at 716-961-6800. Thank you.