Food Entry Rules and Guidelines

For more Safe Food Handling and Preparation best practices see the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service guidelines. A state food handlers permit is not required, but is highly recommended (especially for those coordinating a feast). It is a great way to learn all of the best food handling practices. The cost in both Texas and Oklahoma is $10. Here are the links for both Texas and Oklahoma.

Food Entry Information & Requirements

For a downloadable PDF copy of the guidelines and the questionnaire see below. If there is confusion between this and the PDF, the PDF is the official document.

Thank you for your entry into Kingdom Arts and Sciences! To keep the judges and the populace safe, we have created this questionnaire. Please read completely, fill in the questionnaire, and place it with your documentation.

The Minister of Arts and Sciences and the Laurels work hard to assure your entry will be judged at the best possible time. We will work with you to provide a good time during the competition to finalize your setup and have the food ready at the right temperature (generally cold foods in the morning, and hot foods in the afternoon.)

For food safety, your dish can not remain in the Danger Zone (between 41℉ to 135℉) unless it is non-perishable.
If your dish is a cold dish, it should be displayed at or below 41℉. You can achieve this by embedding your cold dish into ice, using dry ice, or another technique that will keep your dish 41℉ or colder.

If it is a hot dish, it must be kept over 135℉. For a hot dish you can choose to use chafing dishes, slow cookers, and warming trays. There are electric food roasters that can maintain the appropriate temperature, as well. Please indicate if you will need electricity or special considerations. Be aware that some warmers (typically crock pots) only hold food at 110℉ to 120℉, so check the product label to make sure your warmer has the capability to hold foods at 140℉ or warmer. This is the temperature required to keep bacteria at bay! Having a food thermometer next to your display can help alleviate any concerns, but is not required.

Perishable food should not be left out more than 2 hours at room temperature or 1 hour when the temperature is above 90 ℉.

Make sure the dishes, plates, and utensils are food safe. Decorative dishes are often NOT meant to serve food. Only use such dishes for decoration – not use them to hold (or touch) food!
For more information about food safety, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has a wealth of information on their website (link above)

All food/beverage entries MUST be completely cleaned up by 4 pm and/or when the Laurel Circle starts – all food/beverages need to be removed and/or properly disposed of. If there are entries left at that time, everything (food/beverage, containers, utensils, props, documentation, etc.) will be thrown away, and scores will be withheld. The entrant is responsible for cleaning up their area in a timely manner. Please be considerate of the venue – if you wouldn’t throw away the trash in a hotel room, take it with you to dispose of at home.

Food Safety Questionnaire

Fill in what is applicable to your entry:
SCA NAME: ______________________________
FOOD ENTRY: ____________________________

  1. Have you read the first page of this document (article above)? ____
  2. Do you agree to clear your entry in a timely manner before the end of the event? ____
  3. Have you taken a food handlers class in the last two years? ____
  4. Have you taken an SCA basic food safety class? (From Mistress Melisenda or another experienced cook, for example) __
  5. Is your dish a meat-based dish? ___
  6. What was the Safe Internal Temperature the dish was cooked at? ___
  7. Is your dish a hot or cold dish? ___
  8. Was your dish frozen? ____
  9. If it was frozen, did you heat it to the internal temperature of 165℉? _
  10. How did you heat your dish to 165℉? ___
  11. If your dish was canned, did you use a hot water bath or pressure canned? ___
  12. What have you canned? _________
  13. Did you practice good hygiene practices? ___
  14. How do you plan to keep your dish at the correct temperature on your display? ___
  15. If you used fruits or vegetables, did you wash them thoroughly? ____
    Be aware that a cooking entry is one of the few Arts and Science categories that can cause grave illness or even death. Please take this questionnaire and your entry seriously. Judges will not taste food that is has not been handled properly or kept at the proper temperature.