Community Event Guidelines for Sampling Food

These guidelines are for food facilities and demonstrators providing samples of processed food products to the public at a community event. These guidelines are designed to help ensure that food samples for the public are safe and unadulterated.
  • Food intended for samples shall be handled so as to be pure, free from contamination, adulteration, and spoilage.
  • All food shall have been obtained from approved sources.
  • Sampling shall be done in such a way as to prevent customers from touching, coughing or sneezing on food meant for others.
  • Keep samples in approved clean, covered containers. A clear plastic container with a hinged lid, or a plate with a clear dome cover, provides effective protection from contamination while allowing the customer to see the product.
  • Potentially hazardous foods shall be kept at or below 45°F, or at or above 135°F.
  • Handwashing facilities, with single-service soap and paper towels, must be readily available for use near each location where products are being cut into samples.
  • Waste shall be contained to minimize odor and insect development. Provide leak-proof garbage receptacles with close-fitting lids at each area/booth for disposal of pits, peels, food waste, and rubbish.
  • Utensils and cutting surfaces shall be washed, rinsed and sanitized every four hours during use. For sanitizing, provide a chlorine solution of one tablespoon or capful of liquid bleach per gallon of water.
  • Approved cutting surfaces shall be smooth, non-absorbent, and easily cleanable.
  • Clean, potable water shall be used for washing food and food contact surfaces.
  • Wash water and/or wastewater must be disposed of into an approved sewage system or holding tank and must not be discharged onto the ground.
  • Toothpicks or disposable utensils shall be used to distribute samples to minimize hand contact.

Contact Information

Public Health Division
County of Sonoma
Business Hours
Monday – Friday
8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Contact us by Phone
Office Location
625 5th Street
Santa Rosa, CA 95404
38.441823, -122.7137698

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