Food safety and service

Food that is served to 4-H families and the public requires careful planning to ensure risk is minimized, local training and licensing requirements are met and food is handled safely.

Serving food to the public

  • Learn and practice proper handling, preparation and storage of food items. Access Food safety tips for food event volunteers for practical information and tips.
  • Reduce the risk for foodborne illness to become aware of potential causes, symptoms and what to do if a foodborne illness occurs.
  • No alcoholic beverages can be available or served at 4-H programs, activities and outings.
  • All food managers must take the online video training Cooking for a Crowd.
  • Obtain a current license if food is served to the public. The license can be obtained through the county or the MN Department of Health.


Serving food or hosting a potluck at a 4-H program.

  • Follow the guidelines provided above regarding proper handling, preparation and storage to ensure the safety of the individuals eating the food.
  • Review MN Statute 157.22 for potluck guidelines.


4-H clubs or federations/councils conducting a bake sale.

  • The Department of Agriculture excludes bake sales from licensure and regulation when the following conditions are met.
    • The bake sale is a community event.
    • The fundraising gross receipts are $5,000 or less in a calendar year.
    • If the food is NOT prepared in a kitchen that is licensed or inspected, 4-H must post a visible sign stating "These products are homemade and not subject to state inspection."