UCI Campus Organizations

Food Permits & Catering

Section 1

Food Safety & Caterers: At a Glance

Temporary Food Permits are currently on hold. Please check back for more up-to-date information.

Registered Campus Organizations (RCOs) can have food for meetings, programs, and events and also sell food for fundraising purposes.  However, certain policies and regulations must be followed to guarantee the food safety for your members and guests.  These options include: 1) acquiring a Temporary Food Permit, and 2) purchasing food from approved caterers.  Note: a caterer is someone you buy food from or hire to caterer your event.  Below is information about these options. 

To secure the safety and health of UCI's community, RCOs are required to explain the type of food, the conditions and the preparation processes of the food they are want to sell or prepare for their event. 

When do I need a Temporary Food Permit? 

  • Not Required: serving perishable or non-perishable foods to only RCO members  
  • Required: serving, distributing, or selling perishable foods to any non-RCO members (e.g. fundraising efforts on Ring Road)
  • Review the chart below to find out if your event requires a food permit


food permit graph

Non-Perishable Foods:

  • List of non-perishable foods, click here
  • FAQ's about perishable foods

Temporary Food Permit Application Process:

  1. Become a RCO with the Office of Campus Organizations
  2. Finish the temporary food permit training (FOOD COOL), which is also available for all RCO signers in their MyOrgs ToDos
  3. Apply for the temporary food permit through EH&S (Note: Applications must be submitted at least 2 business days before event date, the food permit for serving the same food is valid for one week). Applications may be denied if the menu, preparation process, or food conditions information are incomplete

Grilling and BBQ on Ring Round? 

RCOs can only use propane gas (no charcoal) when grilling and barbecuing at your event. For a BBQ, RCOs need to contact Student Center & Event Services (SC&ES) office to reserve a venue on asphalt instead of concrete.  Contact SC&ES for more information: (949) 824-5252

Remember the safe food handling guidelines? What causes food illness? Do you need to keep your food in the room temperature or in a fridge? What are some primary ways to prevent foodborne illnesses? Click here to learn more.


Food from UCI Approved Caterers or Not Approved Caterers provided by UCI Hospitality & Dining Services

If you choose to use a caterer to deliver and service food for your RCO meetings, programs, and events, you are required to use an approved on-campus or off-campus caterer. Click here for a list of approved caterers from Hospitality and Dining Services. However, if you choose to use a caterer that is not on the approved caterers list, then you need to contact UCI Hospitality and Dining Services to recieve an information packet to find out if the caterer is eligible to be approved. The deadline for submitting the completed Off-campus Caterer Approval packet is the 14th day of the month prior to your event. The Approved UCI Off-campus Caterer List is published on the 15th day of each month.  UCI Hospitality and Dining Services is the exclusive caterer for the Student Center. Please plan accordingly.

Note: RCOs can bring food from off-campus food caterers and distribute to their members on their own without any assistance from a caterer.

RCO Serving Alcohol?

  1. Review alcohol policies (sec. 900-13)
  2. Submit your alcohol request form 20 days in advance to UCI Hospitality & Dining Services, but before you must attain signatures from Event Location Approver (e.g., Student Center), and Approving Authority (RCOs submit to Student Life and Leadership) so you need to plan accordingly
  3. Hospitality and Dining will review the request and contact your organization
  4. For more information, click here