Pot lucks are an informal gathering sponsored by individual(s) or religious, charitable or nonprofit organizations.  

  • A potluck is a one-time private event; therefore, NO PERMIT IS REQUIRED.
  • People are gathered to share food during a potluck.
  • Food may be prepared in private homes for potluck events.
    1. Prior to preparing foods, all surfaces should be thoroughly cleaned especially in between raw meats and salad, ready to eat foods, etc.
    2. Prior to prepping food items, preparers should thoroughly wash their hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds. Hand washing should be repeated between any steps that any contaminate hands such as handling raw meats, coughing, sneezing, using the restroom, etc.  
    3. No child or adult showing signs of contagious illness should be present in the preparation area. Pets should also not be present in preparation area.
    4. If any frozen meats need to be thawed, place in fridge on the bottom shelf (with a drip tray underneath) to avoid any cross-contamination. The fridge allows for slow and safe thawing.
    5. During transportation, ensure all foods are sealed and packed properly to avoid any cross contamination.
    6. Visit the Food safety page for more information.   
  • There is no compensation provided to those who are bringing the food.
  • A potluck event is not conducted for commercial purposes. However, money can be collected to support religious, charitable or nonprofit organizations.
  • No food from the potluck should be brought into a business kitchen establishment dealing in the sale of food.  
  • Any leftover food should be discarded.
  • Everyone must be informed that neither the food nor the facilities in which the food have been prepared have been inspected by the state or local public health department.

The above are guidelines and do not replace 105 CMR 590 and the FDA Food Code 2013.