The Office of Risk Management and Insurance is committed to assisting members of the Cornell University community manage the risks associated with preparing and serving food at University events. A University event is an event that is sponsored by an individual or entity on behalf of the university, or an event that takes place on university-controlled property.
Note: This information is supplemental to that provided in the “Keeping Potluck Meals Safe” document created by the Tompkins County Health Department. Keeping Potluck Meals Safe
- The Tompkins County Health Department may require a Temporary Food Permit at events where food is prepared and served to the public. A Permit will not be necessary for events that are limited to invited guests only.
- Label food items that might contain common food allergens such as, but not limited to, dairy, egg, fish, peanuts, soy, shellfish, tree nuts and wheat.
- Tables, chairs, electrical cords and water hoses should be setup in locations that do not block walkways or doorways and do not create tripping hazards.
- Volunteers should be responsible for serving food to the attendees.
- Trash and rubbish containers with plastic bag liners need to be provided for garbage and re-use disposal.
- Contact Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) if you will be using burners, hot plates, Sterno or other flames to heat the food.
- Ice that is consumed or that touches food should be made from potable water.
- Servers should handle all food with disposable gloves and wear hair restraints.
- Servers should use serving tongs to avoid cross contact.
- Spills should be cleaned-up immediately.
- Dispose of leftover food at the conclusion of the event. Do not let attendees take home food from the event.
- Dispose of trash and ensure the event space is reasonably clean.