Temporary Food Permit Application Process

Temporary food permits are necessary for the University to 1) understand what food is being served, 2) how the food is/was being prepared, and 3) the conditions under which the food is being served.  The University requires permits to track food that was cooked and served in the event of reported food-related illness and to ensure the safety of our campus community.  In all cases, EH&S recommends reviewing the Safe Food Handling Guidelines.

1.  All Registered Campus Organizations (RCOs) should use the following guidelines to determine whether or not they need a temporary food permit:

  • For all events where only RCO members are in attendance, temporary food permits are NOT REQUIRED.
  • For events serving non-perishable foods*, where only non-RCO members are in attendance, temporary food permits are NOT REQUIRED
  • For events serving perishable foods, where any non-RCO members are in attendance, temporary food permits ARE REQUIRED.  This includes fundraising efforts on Ring Road. 

*Non-perishable examples:


Baked products (without meat)

Donuts, breads, rolls, fruit pies, cakes, cupcakes and cookies, baklava tortilla’s, pastries

 Non-dairy beverages

All types of the following beverages: coffee or tea based drinks, espresso, lemonade, and/or lime-aide.  This includes ethnic drinks such as, agua fresca, horchata, or Thai iced tea.  We strongly recommend keeping all of these beverages on ice.

Beverages, commercially bottled and sealed

Frappacino’s, fruit juices, energy drinks, and any items with a label indicating “refrigerate after opening”.  We strongly recommend keeping fruit juices on ice.

Breakfast foods

Toast, pancakes, waffles, crepes (without meat)

Chick-pea/garbanzo-based snacks

Hummus, samosas (without meat)

Commercially-produced dairy or soy products

Milk, butter, sour cream, cheeses/cottage cheese, yogurt, Tofu eggnog, custards (no home-made soy or eggnog/custard products), soda floats, or other snacks containing ice cream.  We strongly recommend keeping these products cold and on ice.

Commercially-canned vegetable products labeled “Do not refrigerate after opening”

Commercially-canned (not home-canned) fermented vegetables such as pickled vegetables or kim chi pickled cabbage

Dehydrated food products

Jerky, energy/granola bars, dried (or candied) fruits, trail mixes.

Raw fruit/vegetables

Fruit, jams, jellies

Frozen ice snacks

Snow cones, Italian ice, or shaved ice.  Wear gloves while preparing and serving.

Non-dairy products

Non-dairy creamers, and other products that state “non-dairy” on the label

Peanuts, tree nuts and nut-based butters or spreads.  

Raw/processed nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans, etc.), peanut butter, Nutella spread, or trail mix  

Raw fruits and vegetables

Served in the raw state and not cooked.  These products must be thoroughly washed, prior to serving.  Melons (i.e. watermelon, cantaloupe, or honeydew) must be kept cold and on ice.

Snack foods – desserts/frozen desserts

Gelatin, pudding, commercially packaged fruit cups, candy, churros, funnel cakes, or popsicles.  We strongly recommend keeping frozen products cold and on ice.

Snack foods - dry snacks and chips

Potato chips, tortilla chips, pretzels, Triscuits, Wheat Thins

Snack foods - other (without meat)

Plain nachos or nachos with cheese sauce

Tapioca-based drinks and desserts

Boba drinks and tapioca pudding. We strongly recommend keeping these products cold and on ice.

Important:  A temporary food permit is REQUIRED for all other foods and food categories NOT listed in the tables above. 

2.  Permit Application Instructions

  1. Any RCO planning to serve food in that academic year, and their authorized signers as identified in the registration process through the Office of Campus Organizations ARE REQUIRED to take temporary food permit training every academic year beginning September 1 and before the first event serving food.  Training is valid for multiple events in the same quarter.
  2. After your training is complete, EH&S and Student Center and Event Services will be notified that you have taken the required training and you may apply for a temporary food permit. 
  3. A permit application must be submitted at least 2 full business days (Monday through Friday) before the event date.  For example, if your event is going to be held on Monday, your application must be submitted by Wednesday of the previous week.
  4. The permit is valid for serving the same food for one week and the expiration date will be indicated on the permit.
  5. The requestor name and email address should be entered, as well as the name and email address of the RCO on the permit application.

    Please note:  Permits will be DENIED if the event/menu information is incomplete or if the application date is less than 2 business days (Monday through Friday) from the event start date.

CATERING, by definition, is the hiring of a restaurateur to prepare and deliver the menu items to the event on campus property.  Catering does not include ordering food and/or beverages and picking it up at the establishment.  If you choose to use a caterer, you are required to use an approved campus caterer.  For a list of approved off-campus caterers, please visit the Hospitality and Dining website:  http://www.food.uci.edu/catering_list.php.  Caterers should remember to follow the 4-hour rule as specified in the Safe Food Handling Guidelines.  Per University Policies and Procedures Section 900-16, C-5, caterers may not sell or offer food for sale on campus:  http://www.policies.uci.edu/adm/pols/900-16.html

For events where a UC Irvine department or service unit is partnering with a RCO, please contact EH&S at (949) 824-6200 for guidance.

• For faculty and staff serving food at department functions, please click here.
• Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Food Permit Application Process Flowchart

Rev. 7/2014

University of California, Irvine Environmental Health & Safety
4600 Health Sciences Road, Irvine, CA 92697-2725 (949) 824-6200, Fax (949) 824-8539
Copyright@2006-2014