Cookouts - Guidelines for Cookouts on Asa Packer Campus

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Guidelines for Cookouts on Asa Campus

Student Center Facilities     Phone: 610-758-4163


Below are established guidelines that will ensure the safety of all individuals hosting and attending outdoor cookouts and to minimize the risk for Lehigh University.  The information has been a collaborative effort between the offices of Environmental Health and Safety, Risk Management, and Student Center Facilities.


  • Food cannot be sold at the event.  This includes solicitation of donations.
  • The event must be closed to the general public and limited to a small group.  Cooking for groups in excess of 50 people will require approved professional ServSafe trained, licensed, and insured cook or vendor.
  • All groups will be required to obtain a Food License from the City of Bethlehem Health Bureau for each event.  The City of Bethlehem Health Bureau reserves the right to send a health inspector to the location to make sure all guidelines are being followed and food is prepared safely.
  • Sanitary gloves must be worn when serving food and all food must be placed in proper serving units. 
  • The use of alcohol is not permitted, standard University procedures apply for the serving of alcoholic beverages; please contact our office for a request form.
  • A person should be designated to handle emergency response issues and should have with them a telephone and emergency phone numbers - Campus police 610-758-4200 - or 84200 from a campus phone. This person should also make the decision to cancel the cookout if a storm develops or if lightning or high winds occur.
  • University Police must be notified in writing at least 24 hours in advance of the event. Fire exits (including routes to buildings) are not to be blocked. The area the cookout occurs should be free of debris including combustibles such as leaves and it should be located away from windows and building air intakes to avoid triggering building smoke detectors.
  • An individual must be identified as the spokesperson for the group. 
  • Cooking:
    • Using a gas grill is preferred as it eliminates the need to use charcoal lighter and can be extinguished immediately. 
    • If that is not possible one individual, who has experience lighting charcoal grills shall ignite the grill(s) making certain that the area is clear of people.  Once the grill(s) have been ignited the lighter fluid must be put away.  Charcoal fluid shall not be used on hot coals!
    • A fire extinguisher is to be available and someone who is trained in how to use the fire extinguisher on site.
  • At the end of the event a proper clean up must followCharcoals are to be emptied into a metal can after they are used and have cooled. Personnel should wait 24 hours prior to disposing charcoals in the garbage.  During this time they should be kept outdoors away from combustibles and out of the wind.  To ensure the charcoals are cooled add a slight amount of water.
  • The area must be cleaned up and litter free at the end of the event.