Food Event

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All campus events where food is served or sold must have an approved Food Service Permit.

Serving Food on Campus

In accordance with Erie County Department of Heath guidelines, the University at Buffalo prohibits the sale and distribution to the public of any foods by any student association, faculty or staff unless the foods are prepared in a kitchen that holds a valid Erie County Department of Health permit. Preparation of food (including baked goods) in homes or dorms of individuals is not permitted. 

An Erie County Department of Health permit for Temporary Food Service will be required for all events that are open to the public.

For food events (excluding informal gatherings*), an EH&S Food Permit form must be submitted to EH&S at least 2 weeks prior to the event date. This will allow sufficient time for the Erie County Department of Health to review and process a food permit for the event. An EH&S issued food permit is not required if the food is prepared by Campus Dining and Shops (e.g. Three Pillars, BigBlue, Little Blue, etc.). Please note that if using Campus Dining & Shops services, attendees should follow campus COVID guidelines.

All groups must have a copy of the approved food service application and permit at their event.


In-Person Event Review and Approval Process

  • Priority for approval will be given to events that: 
    • Directly support higher learning. 
    • Directly benefit the institution. 
    • Directly relate to civic engagement. 

This process will be used campus-wide for all programs and activities hosted by campus departments, academic programs, and student groups. For student groups, the initial review will be conducted by the Office of Student Unions prior to sending to Environment, Health and Safety (EH&S) to review. All requests should be submitted at least 14 days in advance. Commercially packaged snack items (e.g., granola bars, candy, chips, popcorn, crackers, dried fruit, trail mix, nuts), whole (uncut) fruit and traditional baked goods (e.g. donuts, cookies, etc.) do not need to go through the food permit process for approval.

BUFFETS: Three Pillars Catering is recommended for events with food served buffet style. If an outside caterer will be used, an EH&S-issued food permit is required. For food served buffet style, EH&S recommends that the organizers consider having the food served by catering staff or event staff wearing gloves and hair restraints. 

HOMEMADE FOOD: Homemade food (including baked goods) is not allowed to be served at events.

OFF-CAMPUS EVENTS: EH&S does not need to review or approve events held off campus.  

Contact an Expert

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Environment Health & Safety

Service Building, 220 Winspear Ave.

Phone: 716-829-3301