Any event or meeting that serves food on the UW Tacoma campus is subject to the University's policies on food service. Serving food on campus is based on your event's audience - either just UW Tacoma attendees, or an event with non-UW Tacoma guests attending. A non-UW Tacoma guest includes individuals from UW Seattle and UW Bothell.
Note: If you are using a non-approved food budget, food forms must be submitted no less than 2 weeks before your event. For more information, refer to the Food & Beverages Approval Form.
If your catering cost is more than $10,000 (Direct Buy Limit) and you are using a UW budget to pay for your catering you need to follow the University of Washington Purchasing Guidelines. If you have questions please contact the Finance Office.
Interested in food trucks? More information coming soon.
If your event is for UW Tacoma students, faculty or staff only...
When only UW Tacoma faculty, staff and/or students are in attendance at the event, you have flexibility in the food served. You are able to serve food that is from a caterer, on-campus vendor or local business. You can also serve pre-packaged or homemade items. If your items are to be prepared on campus a food safety preparation plan may be required.
We encourage all events to:
- Utilize a UW Tacoma Preferred Caterer
- Use a vendor that is licensed and insured to cater food
- Follow Health Department food service guidelines -- more information can be found on the Tacoma Pierce County Health Department's Food Safety website.
- Ensure that food that is being transported has proper actions taken to prevent contamination
- Ensure that food that requires temperature control is closely monitored at the event. For more information about the specific requirements please visit the Tacoma Pierce County Health Department's Food Safety website.
- Be conscious of the ingredients in the food items being served. Consider that attendees may have food allergies or sensitivites. Proper ingredient labeling of items is highly encouraged.
It's important to note that individuals from UW Seattle and UW Bothell are considered non-UW Tacoma guests. This is also of partners, spouses, children, and other family members or dependents of UW Tacoma faculty/staff/students. In these cases, the "Non-UW Tacoma Guests Are in Attendance" policies must be followed.
If non-UW Tacoma Guests are attending...
Homemade food items or items that require on-site preparation are NOT permitted for meeting/events that will have non-UW Tacoma guests.
If you are hosting an event at UW Tacoma that involves non-UW Tacoma guests food service requirements are:
Option 1: Preferred Caterer
Use a UW Tacoma Preferred Caterer
- Our Preferred Caterers work with us on per diem rates and almost any budget. Please let us know if you have special requests or requirements. If your catering request is more than $10,000 and you are paying for your catering with a UW budget you are required to do competitive bidding and request a minimum of three catering bids. For more information, please contact the Finance Office.
- For list of UW Tacoma Preferred Caterers please visit our UW Tacoma Preferred Caterer list.
- UW Tacoma Faculty, Staff and Students are permitted to serve food from a preferred caterer if one or more members of the service crew has a current Food Handler Card. For more information and to get your Food Handler Card online please visit the Tacoma Pierce County Health Department Food Worker Card website.
Option 2: Other Caterer
Use a non-UW Tacoma Preferred Caterer
- Caterer must be licensed and insured
- Catering paperwork must be submitted through Events and Sponsorships. Please allow a minimum of two weeks to complete this paperwork.
- For questions on completing this paperwork please contact Events and Sponsorships
If you are unsure if the caterer you would like to use is licensed you can check the Tacoma Pierce County Heeaht Department (TPCHD) Licensed Caterer List. Please Google "Tacoma Pierce County Health Department Licensed Caterers" to find the most current list.
If the caterer you would like to use is located in Pierce County and is not on the TPCHD Licensed Caterer LIst you will want to select another caterer.
Unfortunately King County Health Department does not provide a web list.
UW Tacoma Faculty, Staff and Students are permitted to serve food from a non-preferred caterer with proper paperwork on file. Again, one or more members of the service crew has a current Food Handler Card. For more information and to get your Food Handler Card online please visit the Tacoma Pierce County Health Department Food Worker Card website.
Option 3: Using a Vendor who leases space from UW Tacoma
- Bring in food from one of the vendors that leases space from UW Tacoma
- These vendors may deliver food or you may pick-up this food.
- If the vendor is not a licensed caterer the food cannot be prepared on campus and cannot be served by the vendor.
- If you are transporting the food you should be careful not to contaminate the food during transport.
- Food that requires temperature control should be closely monitored throughout your event to ensure it is kept at the proper serving temperature.
If you are unsure if a Vendor is a UW Tacoma tenant please contact Events and Sponsorships and they can assist.
Option 4: Pre-packaged Food
Bring in non-perishable, pre-packaged, ready-to-eat food items. These items are to be served in their original packaging. No preparation or moving to a different container is permitted (including chaffing dishes).
Pizza is considered a low-risk food. Pizza must be prepared and cooked by a commercial producer. For example: Abella Pizzeria, The Rock Wood Fired Pizza, Zeek's Pizza, Costco, LIttle Caesars and Dominos are all commercial producers.