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Food Guidelines

UPDATED November 1, 2021

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

Regardless of method chosen below:

  1. ALL ingredients for all food items must be displayed alongside the food items.  
  2. Hot/Cold food can not be served longer than 2 hour 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.    

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. Sodexo must set up and monitor the food to ensure that hot/cold foods are kept at proper temperature for the duration of food service. Students may choose to have Sodexo serve food OR they may choose to allow self service of food. 
  2. Offer 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. This includes pouring drinks from a common source container.
  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 can provide a list of ingredients for any food item(s).
    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, Krispy Kreme Glazed Donuts (Donuts would need to be individually wrapped OR offered by the box), Pizza by the slice (Pizza slices would need to be boxed by the vendor), Mama Floras Catering, Mexican Mariachi Catering.
    2. Have the company deliver, set up, and monitor buffet foods at your event. Food that does not need to be maintained at a proper temperature may just be delivered and set up by the company while food that needs to be maintained at proper temperature must be monitored by an agent of the company for the duration of food service. Students may choose to have the company serve food OR they may choose to allow self service of food.
      1. Requirements:
        1. Company provided servers complete a Covid Self Check the day of the event before arrival on campus. 
        2. Company provided servers wear a mask the entire time 
        3. Company provides a copy of their ServSafe Certification at least 5 days before event (RSOs will need to submit this certificate digitally using this form
        4. Company provides a copy of their General Liability Insurance demonstrating a minimum $1,000,000 coverage and naming “The College of New Jersey, The State of New Jersey,  and the New Jersey Educational Facilities Authorities” as additionally insured entities. (RSOs will need to submit this certificate digitally using this form)
    3. 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 in multiple locations across campus; however, food may only be consumed during an event/program in the following spaces: BSC 100E/W, BSC 225 E/W, BSC Atrium, ED 212, Business Building Lounge, outdoor spaces or other spaces requested and approved by OSI.  

Students should maintain physical distance while eating at events, both indoor and outdoors.  

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 “Recommended 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. No foods should be served more than 2 hours after preparation/pickup without proper heating or refrigeration.
  5. Foods that are required to be kept hot/cold, can not be served for more than 2 hours without proper temperature maintenance (Sterno, warmer, cooler, thermos or insulated serving vessel, and/or thermometer) — If a sterno is used, please fill out a TCNJ candle waiver.
  6. Foods that are required to be kept hot/ cold, and that utilize proper temperature maintenance, can not be served for more than 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 Student Organization Food Usage Guidelines, please contact involvement@tcnj.edu.

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