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Food Guidelines

RSO Food Guidelines  – Fall 2022

Food Guidelines Form

RSOs can utilize the following options if they choose to have food at their events.  

Regardless of method chosen below:

  1. ALL Food Items must identify which (if any) FDA identified food allergen groups it contains.  
  2. Hot/Cold food can not be served longer than 2 hours if not properly heated/cooled. No foods can be served longer than 4 hours from production even when using proper heating or cooling devices/methods. 
  3. Food may be given away free or given away with a suggested donation. Food Sales are not permitted. Please read below for further instruction.   

Food Service Options:

    1. Sodexo can be used for BOTH prepackaged or buffet foods. You can reserve food directly through Book-It. For BOTH methods, Sodexo must provide a list of food ingredients for all food items. 
      1. Pre-Packaged food can be prepared in single sized containers by Sodexo. These pre-packaged foods can be distributed by students or used for a “grab and go.” 
      2. Buffet foods can be ordered and served at events. Students may choose to have Sodexo serve food OR they may choose to allow self service of food. 
    2. Offer single serving pre-packaged foods purchased at a store. There is a list of ingredients on the back of each individual package
      1. Pre-packed examples: Snack Sized Chips, Pretzels, Popcorn, Muffins, Oreos, cookies, candy or Canned Soda.  
      2. An RSO may not buy a large size item and then repackage it themselves into smaller sizes containers. 
    3. Offer food prepared in a professional/commercial kitchen that has been prepared within applicable health department guidelines for the express purposes of distribution.  All commercial kitchens MUST  identify what known allergen groups each food item contains. RSOs are encouraged to confirm that their food providers are food safety certified (SafServ or Similar) and that they maintain liability insurance.
      1. Have the company provide individually prepared single-sized foods. These individually sized servings must be pre-portioned and prepared in a “doggy bag” type container by the professional/commercial kitchen. Students can then distribute these packages themselves or make them available for a “grab and go”  
        1. Commercial Kitchen Examples for Grab & Go: Panera Catering, Chipotle, Mama Floras Catering, Mexican Mariachi Catering.
      2. Have the company deliver and set up food at your event. Students may choose to have the company serve food OR they may choose to allow self service of food.
  • RSO must have at least one member attend Food Safety training through OSI.  
    1. Order and pickup food from the company. Organizations must have OSI Food Safety Trained through Canvas, to have a member from your organization complete the training please complete this form Once trained students can pick up food and then bring it directly to their event/program, etc. Food should be brought to the site of dissemination directly and without delay. Precautions should be taken to ensure that transportation minimizes risk of contaminant exposure and/or excessive heat/cold.Organizations may allow self service of food, but should work to ensure compliance with food safety identified in OSI Food Safety Training.  
      1. If using Gloves and Tongs, this method may be used to provide pizza by the slice, Krispy Kreme Donuts, and/or Insomnia Cookies
      2. Gloves and Tongs are available free of charge at the Brower Student Center Info Desk  
    2. Utilize Food Trucks to provide food directly to guests. There are two ways to bring food trucks to campus. More information and process is available here.

Food may be given away or given away with a suggested donation.  Please read below for further instruction.

Service of Food for Free or for “Suggested Donations”

Student Organizations that are serving food at an event or that are providing food with a recommended donation must utilize the following guideline checklist. These items represent best practices in food safety and are highly encouraged. 

  1. Wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds.  
  2. All food should be picked up and transported immediately before the service begins. 
  3. During transport, food should be handled and placed in a manner that does not expose it to contaminants or excessive heat/cold.
  4. All foods may be served for 2 hours
  5. Any foods that are prepared to be served hot/cold can only be sold for more than 2 hours if the proper heating or cooling devices/methods are used (Sterno, warmer, cooler, thermos or insulated serving vessel, and/or thermometer) — If a sterno is used, please fill out a TCNJ candle waiver.
  6. If proper heating/cooling methods are used, foods can be served for up to 4 hours
  7. At the end of these time windows for hot/cold foods, your food is no longer safe for consumption. Please dispose of it appropriately. 
  8. Foods that are liquid (or that have melted to liquid) should be either taken with you or disposed of in the specialized service disposal. This can be accessed by asking the info desk for help. 

Suggested Donations

Food can be served or given away with the request of a donation. Donations are just that, donations. Donations can be for the suggested amount or for more if the student chooses. This donation should not be confused with a food sale. Please ensure that all advertisements and signage identifies your suggested donations and not “sale” prices. Food Sales are not permitted. Therefore, advertising a “Food Sale” is not allowed because this is a service of food for suggested donation, not a sale. 

For questions related to the Recognized Student Organization Food Guidelines, please contact involvement@tcnj.edu.

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