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How to safely sell baked goods

Follow these food safety tips to run a successful bake sale.

Bake sales are a good way for service organizations and special interest groups to raise funds without a lot of investment. So with this idea and many contributions, a bake sale should be fairly easy. Well yes it can be, but there are a few things that should be requested from contributing bakers to keep consumers aware and the food safe.

As the organizer, your group should request items that can be left out without refrigeration – baked goods that can be considered shelf stable. These items would include items like bread, cookies, fruit pies, cookie bars, brownies and cupcakes. Of course, there may be other items, but make sure refrigeration is not needed.

Another request that organizers should ask for is that all food items be labeled with an identifying name and date. This avoids any confusion about what the food item is and an honest sale can be made. While making a label, clearly identify any ingredients the item contains, including food allergens. This may be the most important thing to have on each baked good. Everyone wants to enjoy their purchases, not become sick from the ingredients. The eight major food allergens identified by United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) are eggs, milk, soybeans, fish, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat and shellfish.

It is also a good idea to have the baker add their name and address to the item just so people know where the items were made. They may be looking to purchase an item from someone special and this can help identify them. If no one wants their name directly on the baked item, then maybe the group can create a list of bakers and identify the item with a number corresponding with the baker. This would keep identities safe but allow for traceability just in case there is a question or an issue with an item.

Michigan State University Extension recommends following food safety guidelines when holding a bake sale fundraiser. For more information contact yout local MSU Extension office

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