Food Policy

What are the Requirements for Serving Potentially Hazardous Foods at a Public Event?

Potentially hazardous foods (explained below) may only be served if BOTH of the following conditions are met:

  • The food is prepared under the direction of a certified food protection manager OR by a Caterer licensed by the Lexington Board of Health who is trained in food safety principles and has equipment dedicated to keep foods at approved holding temperatures.

  • The facility where the event is held has obtained either a temporary or permanent food establishment license from the Lexington Board of Health.

What is Potentially Hazardous Food?

Potentially Hazardous Foods are food items requiring temperature control (either below 41° F or above 140° F) to prevent the rapid growth of pathogens or toxigenic microorganisms (bacteria that can produce toxic substances such as botulism). Note that potentially hazardous foods include most items commonly served at potluck or similar meals, such as:

· Animal-based foods such as raw or cooked eggs, meat, fish or poultry, including chilis and soups

· Cooked plant-based food such as rice, potatoes, or pasta

· Raw seed sprouts, cut melons, cut tomatoes and garlic in oil mixtures

· Hot or cold entrees, cheeses, dips, casseroles, cream filled pastries or pies

· Any other food that can support the rapid growth of infectious or toxigenic microorganisms if not kept at the proper temperature.

What is a "Public Event”?

Events that are advertised to the community through the media, publicly displayed signs, flyers etc. or are otherwise open to all, are considered public and are subject to these requirements.