Student Groups Serving Food

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Student Groups Serving Food at Events

This document was prepared by the offices of Student Center Facilities, Student Activities, and Risk Management.

It is important to understand that food preparation and safe handling of food is of primary importance to the University.

The University has an exclusive contract with Sodexo Dining Services for any food served in a facility that has a kitchen that is operated by Sodexo. Sodexo is required to have liability insurance, list Lehigh University as additionally insured, retain ServSafe trained employees, and follow a signed University contract. This contract is in place to protect people from food borne illnesses caused by unsafe handling of food. Sodexo assumes all liability for the food that it serves.

Dining Services

  •  When an event is held in a facility in which there is an exclusive contract with Sodexo food must be ordered through Lehigh University Dining Services (610)758-4512. For Example: The University Center, Ulrich Student Center, Lamberton, RBC, Iacocca Hall, Linderman Library, etc.
  •  Student Groups: It is important to keep in mind what your available budget is for your event so that your group can plan accordingly. When making decisions about food for your event contact the Catering Office. The Catering staff will assist you in making decisions based on your budget. Dining Services offers various types of catering options. Student groups hosting a special function on campus will be permitted to use their meal equivalency credit on any buffet or served lunch or dinner period. Lehigh ID numbers must be active and submitted to LU Catering Services no later than five business days prior to the event to apply equivalency. Student groups, needing only a standard level of service, and willing to pick up, setup, and cleanup their event will be afforded a 30% discount to the total cost of their food order. Accepted forms of payment for student catering will prepaid cash, dining dollars, and gold plus, or Student Club index numbers which are provided by Student Club Accounts (610)758-4150.
  •  Groups may also want to consider ordering directly with the Manager of the 2nd floor Food Operations Food Court: Salsa Rico, Mein Bowl, Pandini’s, and Baker’s Junction (610)758-4172 or Subversions Manager (610)758-6688.

Events Permitted to use an Outside Vendor

Building with a dining operation: When an event is being held in a building with a Sodexho operation the sponsoring organization will be required to obtain an exemption from using Sodexo. Once the exemption has been received in writing, the group may be permitted to bring in food from a vendor that has a Certificate of Liability on file with the University and the bulleted items following must be adhered to.

Building or location without a dining operation: When an event is being held in a space that does not have a Sodexo operation the group may be permitted to bring in food from a food vendor that has a Certificate of Liability on file with the University or the City of Bethlehem and the items listed below must be adhered to.

  •  All local food vendors will be required to meet the same liability insurance coverage and ServSafe training as Sodexo.
  •  A minimum of four weeks’ notice will be required for any event requesting to use an outside vendor.
  •  The vendor will be required to remain on site to serve the food and provide clean up to the serving area.
  •  The group will be responsible for arranging additional clean up for the space. Cost will vary depending on the location and will be incurred by the group.
  •  A sign displaying the name of the vendor must be visible and on display for all attendees.  

Small Group Meeting

If an organization is holding a small group meeting in their designated office or approved meeting space, the group may be permitted to bring in food from a food vendor that has a Certificate of Liability on file with the University or is located in the City of Bethlehem. All restaurants located in the City of Bethlehem are required to have evidence of liability insurance and be ServSafe trained. Contact the appropriate office for approval and to check current local approved food vendors. All local food vendors will be required to meet the same liability insurance coverage and ServSafe training as Sodexo.

Guidelines for groups requesting to prepare their own food:

If an organization is holding a small group meeting in their designated office or approved meeting space, consideration may be made to bring in prepared food as follows.

  •  Food cannot be sold at the event. This includes solicitation of donations.
  •  A reservation for the event space and the group must be received prior permission to have food in this location.
  •  A minimum of four weeks’ notice will be required for any event requesting permission to serve food not provided by Sodexho. In order to allow adequate time to process the request and secure the necessary insurance or City of Bethlehem permits the four week minimum notice will be strictly adhered to.
  •  The event must be small in attendance or have received special approval based on the nature of the event.
  •  Each group shall designate a Lehigh University staff or faculty member that will act as the University liaison to oversee the entire event and ensure the safe handling of food.
  •  Any group member that will be preparing food must attend a ServeSafe training workshop and evidence of certification must be provided to the Student Activities Office and/or Student Center Facilities Office at least two weeks prior to the event.
  •  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.
  •  Due to food allergies or religious practices each dish must be labeled listing the main ingredients and placed in close proximity to the dish.
  • All trash must be bagged and placed in the designated trash area. Any cleanup required as a result of the event will be charged directly to the sponsoring organization.

Guidelines for Cookouts

  • Food cannot be sold at the event. This includes solicitation of donations.
  •  A reservation for the outside event space must be made.
  •  Standard University procedures apply for the serving of alcoholic beverages; please review the alcohol guidelines.
  •  The organization will be responsible for identifying the designated cook(s) for the event. The designated cook(s) will be required to review the following food safety information at least one week prior to the event. 
  •  Cooking for Groups: How to Keep Food Safe:  please review this section  Cookouts
  •  Barbecue and Food Safety:  please review this pdf file https://studentaffairs.lehigh.edu/sites/studentaffairs.lehigh.edu/files/offices/facilities/docs/Guidelines_for_Cookouts_on%20Asa_Campus.pdf

 

  •  The event must be closed to the general public.
  •  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.
  •  Lehigh Police must be notified in writing at least 24 hours in advance of the event.
  •  An individual must be identified as the spokesperson for the group.
  •  This individual has the responsibility of making sure the BBQ is conducted in an area where there are no building air intakes or combustible materials such as leaves etc.
  •  This individual is required to have access to a cell phone or identify a local indoor telephone to use in case of a medical emergency
  •  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!
  •  Sanitary gloves must be worn when serving food and all food must be placed in proper serving units.
  •  At the end of the event the identified spokesperson is responsible for ensuring that the hot coals are fully extinguished by a dry chemical fire extinguisher. The ashes should be placed in a metal container for at least 24 hours prior to disposing with other garbage. The area must be litter free.

Special Considerations for food served at Cultural Events

  •  A minimum of four weeks’ notice will be required for any event requesting permission to serve ethnic food not provided by Sodexho. In order to allow adequate time to process the request and secure the necessary insurance or City of Bethlehem permits the four week minimum notice will be strictly adhered to.
  •  The event must be cultural in nature. The food that is being requested to be served/prepared by a group is cultural in nature and cannot be prepared by Dining Service in a manner that is acceptable for the authenticity of the event. A list of foods and ingredients must be submitted with a completed form to prepare food to Dining Services at least four weeks in advance. Dining Services has the right to deny the request.
  •  The event cannot be open to the general public.
  •  The event must be small in attendance or have received special approval based on the nature of the event i.e. International Bazaar.
  •  Each group shall designate a Lehigh University staff or faculty member that will act as the University liaison to oversee the entire event and ensure the safe handling of food.
  •  Any group member that will be preparing food must attend a ServeSafe training workshop and evidence of certification provided to the Student Activities Office and/or Student Center Facilities Office
  •  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. Anyone that will be serving food cannot handle money.
  •  Due to food allergies or religious practices each dish must be labeled listing the main ingredients and placed in close proximity to the dish.
  •  All trash must be bagged and placed in the designated trash area. Any cleanup required as a result of the event will be charged directly to the sponsoring organization.

Revised SCF I: 9/27/11