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 the type of food you plan to serve.
UW Tacoma events follow the UW Environmental Health & Safety Food Service requirements. Application for a UW EHS temporary food service permit may be required if you plan to serve time temperature sensitive food on campus during your event.
Temporary food service permit applications must be submitted online to UW EHS at least two weeks prior to the event date to ensure that application review can be completed. One application is needed for each caterer or vendor. If you have further questions about whether your event requires at temporary food service permit, email email@example.com.
Home-prepared foods cannot be served or sold at events open to the public or with EH&S Temporary Food Service Permits.
Potlucks and sharing of home-made food must be limited to between members of small, closed groups (i.e., a class/department/office potluck), where attendees bring food to share, there is no compensation for bringing the food and no charge for eating the food, and the event is not for commercial purposes.
Be conscious of the ingredients in the food items being served. Consider that attendees may have food allergies or sensitivities. Proper ingredient labeling of items (especially ingredients that are food allergens) is highly encouraged.
Prepare shared food safely. Review state and federal food safety guidance related to picnics and barbeques and cooking for groups.
Department Controlled Spaces:
Please note that the UW Tacoma food service policies apply to all activities happening on the campus. If you are hosting a gathering that is more than just your department in a department-controlled space that will serve perishable (i.e. time/temperature sensitive) food items you will need to have an approved Temporary Food Service Permit in advance of the gathering.
We encourage all events to:
Choose a licensed and county health department permitted vendor to prepare your event food.
UW EH&S will not issue temporary food service permits for events that use vendors (e.g., caterers/restaurants) that don’t have a current operating permit from a local jurisdiction health department or WSDA.
Permitted restaurants receive routine inspections by their respective county health department. Pierce and King County health departments maintain databases of permitted food establishments that receive routine inspections.
Tacoma Pierce County Health Department maintains a list of Pierce County permitted caterers. But, EH&S staff need to look at each event and type of food and make sure the caterer is qualified, whether they are contracted or not.
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.