Food Event Policies and Procedures - Archived 2009

Archived: Archived
Steward: Director of Residential and Dining Services
Approval Authority: President and Vice Presidents
Approval Date: June 10, 2002


The objective of this policy is to ensure that we have enjoyable, safe food events on campus, and to inform the community of the state and local health regulations concerning food safety. Improper preparation, storage, transportation, handling and service of food can lead to outbreaks of food borne illnesses. The Evergreen State College has developed these procedures to reduce the potential for food borne illnesses and applies to all events where food is sold or served on college premises.

Additionally, the objective of this policy is to inform the campus community of the college's exclusive contract with our food services contractor.

General Policy

All food sold or served on College premises must meet applicable health standards. Food offered for consumption must meet all of the following requirements:

  • Obtained from approved wholesale or retail sources
  • Prepared in an approved location, e.g., restaurant, bakery, or approved campus food service
  • Prepared and served by persons with valid food workers cards
  • Processed, stored, and transported by methods which effectively prevent microbial growth, contamination or adulteration

The college has an exclusive contract with Aramark to provide food for the Olympia campus events and fundraisers, not including the Tacoma program. This applies to all food events except as listed below. Please contact the Aramark Catering Director at extension 5017 or to schedule your food event..

If Aramark is not providing the food, you must obtain written permission from the office of the Vice President for Finance and Administration, L3127, two weeks prior to your event. Exceptions may be approved for events that are serving authentic specialty dishes and other special campus community events.

Events where Aramark does not prepare the food must comply with the procedures listed below.

The college's Environmental Health and Safety Coordinator is responsible for enforcement of health and safety regulations.


1. All events that offer food for sale or donation or are advertised to the public must obtain both a temporary food establishment permit and food handler's cards. Temporary food establishment permit applications are available through the Environmental Health and Safety Coordinator (x6111) or the Thurston County Health Department (360-786-5490) .The permit application takes two weeks to process through the Thurston County Health Department. There is a fee for the permit.

2. At least one person on site at your food event must have a current food handler's card. Thurston County Health Department periodically offers food handler card classes. There is a fee for the food handler's class.

3. Copies of the temporary food establishment permit and the food handler's card must be provided to Environmental Health and Safety (x6111) two weeks before the start of your food event.

4. If food is being prepared, cooked, and served by a licensed and insured caterer, no permit is required. If food is being prepared and cooked by a licensed caterer but served by a college group, a permit and food handler's card are required.

5. If an outside licensed caterer has been approved to prepare food, they must have or obtain liability insurance in the amount of $1,000,000 for the event. The event sponsors may obtain the required insurance. Proof of insurance must be provided to the office of the Vice President for Financial and Administration two weeks prior to the event.

6. Temporary food establishments may only provide food that is commercially prepared or prepared at TESC kitchens. Home-prepared food is not acceptable.

Tacoma Program

For food events at the Tacoma facility, contact the Tacoma/Pierce County Health Department at 591-6486 for temporary food establishment permits and food handler's cards.

Exceptions to the General Policy

For the following events you do not have to use Aramark or comply with this policy. However, proper food safety procedures should still be followed to reduce the risk of food borne illnesses. Contact Environmental Health and Safety at 6111 for food handling information.

1. Potlucks

Food and beverages prepared and consumed by individual groups or departments. Publicly advertised potlucks or ones open to the public are not allowed.

2. Student Bake Sales

Student events that offer only non-potentially hazardous baked goods for sale. However, baked goods must be individually wrapped in food grade plastic or foil, or have serving utensils available. Acceptable items include cookies, muffins, donuts, fudge, fruit pies, cake, bread and candy. Not acceptable items include cream filled foods, meringues, home canned foods, whipped cream, cream cheese, pumpkin pie, cheese cake and custards.


At the Olympia campus, complete a College Production Report with required signatures.


Potentially hazardous food - any dish that contains animal or certain plant products, including potatoes, dry legumes, rice, sprouts, cut cantaloupes and cut melons, that is capable of supporting rapid and progressive infectious or toxigenic microorganisms or the slow growth of C. botulinum.

Potluck - food event where participants bring food dishes to share with others in the group.

Public advertising - announcements made via radio, newspaper or to those outside the campus community are considered public advertising.