A question came up about food safety and food handling at Master Gardener events, such as a potluck of a bake sale.
After discussions with Jean Brandt (OSU Master Food Preservers), Lauren Gwin (OSU Small Farms), Jeff Choate (OSU Master Gardeners, Lane County), Patti Choate (OSU Risk), and local Departments of Health, we have a few guidelines that we can share.
- Public potlucks are not permissible. Master Gardener potlucks are permissible if the food is shared in good faith, by members of the Master Gardener group.
- Even in a closed, Master Gardener group, volunteers should adhere to best practices for food handling and food safety. Please consult OSU Resources on Food Safety, for more information.
- For bake sales, which are public events, Lauren Gwin’s recent publication on Oregon’s Home Baking Bill is an excellent resource.
- Home-baked goods should be labelled as such, so that people can make informed decisions about their purchase. An example sign can be found here.
- Bake sales should exclude home-baked goods that are potentially hazardous, from a food safety point of view. Potentially hazardous foods include foods that require refrigeration or hot holding. Examples requiring refrigeration are cream cheese cakes, cream cheese pies. Baked goods cannot have milk or dairy in a filling, glazing, or frosting, because they also would require refrigeration (for example cinnamon rolls with cream cheese frosting).