For food competitions: Filling, frosting, glazing, pie filling, and meringue, (whether uncooked or cooked) are not permitted to contain cream cheese, sour cream, heavy cream, or whipped cream as the nature of these products increases the moisture content and water activity of the food. Foods with a higher moisture content and water activity can be ideal growing conditions for food borne pathogens, even if the ingredient is part of a batter and baked. Additionally, raw milk, raw milk products or uncooked eggs/egg whites are not permitted. Eggs/egg whites that have been cooked to 160°F (i.e. pasteurized or included as part of a batter and baked) are acceptable. No home-canned fruits, vegetables, or meats are permitted in products. Recipes must be provided that show which ingredients were used in each part of the product. Contestants should carefully wash their hands and make sure that their hands do not have any open cuts before preparing foods. Contestants should not be preparing food exhibits for competition within 48 hours of recovering from any illness. Whenever possible, baked products should be transported and stored in chilled coolers (41°F).

Judges and individuals who will consume products from county and state competitions should be informed that they are at risk for foodborne illness since the established policy cannot guarantee that an entry which may be a "potentially hazardous food" has been properly prepared or handled before, during or following the competition. Tasting of a food product is solely at the discretion of the judge. Judges are NOT to taste any low-acid or acidified preserved food, like green beans or tomato products, and are discouraged from tasting any other home preserved food.

Consumers of competitive food exhibits being sold at auction or used for hospitality purposes should be notified they could be at risk for foodborne illness since the established policy cannot guarantee that an entry which may be a “potentially hazardous food” has been properly prepared or handled before, during, or following the competition.

Purdue Extension Food Safety Policy
(revised 11/2013)



Complete a Foods Manuals:

Members are required to complete a minimum three (3) activities, each from a different "bite" category each year they are in the project. Project manual MUST accompany the exhibit.


1. Cover label with clear plastic wrap so that it will not become grease stained.

2. Tape label to the paper plate or container before the product is wrapped.

Recipe or index cards:

1. A recipe card or index card (5" x 8") is required for all food exhibits. It is recommended that you wrap the card in plastic wrap or in a plastic bag.

How to prepare products for display.

1. Most food products should be displayed on a paper or foam plate.

2. For cakes - cut a piece of cardboard about 1/2 inch larger than the bottom of the cake. Cover this cardboard with wax paper, plastic wrap, or foil before putting the cake on it.

3. Any other product that may be sticky on the bottom, such as some fancy breads, should be put on round, square, or rectangle cardboard. Cover this cardboard with wax paper, plastic wrap, or foil before putting the food product on it.



 Level A

Grade 3: Six (6) drop, molded, or bar baked cookies from a mix.

Grade 4: Six (6) muffins or cupcakes of any kind from a mix (no muffin liners or frosting). 

Level B

Grade 5: An angel food cake, sponge cake, or layer cake from a mix (no frosting).

Grade 6: Six (6) no-yeast biscuits or rolls from a mix. 

Level C

Grade 7: A loaf of yeast bread of any type from a mix (may use a bread machine) 

Grade 8: Modify a mix in some way (Example: add cherries or caramel to a dessert, put fresh fruit in a Muffin mix, substitute applesauce for part of oil combine mixes)

Grade 9:  Make something using frozen or refrigerated biscuits, crescent rolls, and/or phyllo dough as the base.

Level D

Grade 10: A single or double crust baked fruit pie. Only the crust must come from a mix or be ready-made (refrigerated or frozen). Filling and topping can either be from a can, mix, or made from scratch. NOTE: Custards, cream, cream cheese frostings & fillings, and raw egg white frosting are not acceptable in an exhibit because they are highly perishable when left at room temperature.

Grade 11: Prepare a “complete meal” from a box and exhibit a single serving that has been frozen (in a disposable freezer container)

Grade 12: Candy of any kind from a mix.