Food Event

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

Food on Campus

In accordance with Erie County Department of Health 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.

All requests should be submitted at least 14 days in advance of the event date or it will be automatically disapproved. This will allow sufficient time for Environment, Health & Safety and the Erie County Department of Health to review and process a food permit for the event. 

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

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.

Commercially packaged snack items (e.g., granola bars, candy, chips, popcorn, crackers, dried fruit, trail mix, nuts), whole (uncut) fruit, traditional baked goods (e.g. donuts, cookies, etc.) and food catered by Three Pillars Catering do not need to go through the food permit process. 


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. 

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, self-service is permitted but EH&S recommends that the organizers consider having the food served by catering staff or event staff wearing gloves and hair restraints. 

POTLUCK MEALS: For public and private events, potluck meals are not permitted to be held on campus due to the risk of foodborne illness.

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

Contact an Expert

EHS avatar.

Environment Health & Safety

Service Building, 220 Winspear Ave.

Phone: 716-829-3301