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Food Guidelines

RSO Food Guidelines  

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.
        1. OSI Food Safety Trained Students must be on site for the event in order to utilize this method (to have a member from your organization complete the training please complete this form)
      3. Order and pickup food from the company. Organizations must have been 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. OSI Food Safety Trained Students must be on site for the event in order to utilize this method.
      4. If using Gloves and Tongs, this method may be used to provide pizza by the slice, Krispy Kreme Donuts, and/or Insomnia Cookies
        1. Gloves and Tongs are available free of charge at the Brower Student Center Info Desk
    4. Utilize Food Trucks to provide food directly to guests. There are two ways to bring food trucks to campus. Find more information and processes.

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

Food Trucks:

Food Trucks are becoming a regular addition on campus to many student organization events.  While the College wants to support the idea of food trucks, there are some policies that must be followed to secure a food truck(s) as part of any on campus event.  When thinking of bringing a food truck(s) as a part of your event, please review the following guidelines and schedule a meeting with the Office of Student Involvement.

Food Truck Guidelines for Recognized Student Organizations:
(Offices, Departments, Schools, etc. should reach out to Conference and Event Services for support)

  1. Food Trucks may be brought to campus in support of a scheduled event, but are NOT the event itself.
  2. Contact the Office of Student Involvement at least 4 weeks prior to your desired event.
  3. Request Event Space on BookIt.
  4. Permits: All food trucks must pull specific permits to operate on campus.  The Recognized Student Organization should contact the Office of Student Involvement for further details on permitting at least 4 weeks prior to your event.  All permits require working with local and state government officials and have specific processing times.
  5. Recognized Student Organizations should always adhere to the Student Organization Fundraising Policy.
  6. Food Truck companies must adhere to all College guidelines and may not be approved based on past history.
  7. In granting approval the Office of Student Involvement will work closely with the BSC Student Event Scheduler, TCNJ Parking, and TCNJ Police.
  8. Food Trucks are responsible for ALL trash removal.
  9. Unless otherwise stated, Food Trucks should plan to be 100% self-contained. The College is under no obligation to provide access to water or electric.

Food trucks can generally be brought in to support your event in two ways:

  1. Food trucks can be pre-paid by the Recognized Student Organization to provide food items free of charge to guests without selling anything to individual participants on site. The event must be scheduled and approved through BookIt, and a contract between the Food Truck and your Student Organization.
  2. Food trucks may be invited to setup a mobile operation at your event. Here, the food truck would sell food to any members of your event at an individual cost to the participants.

All food trucks will be required to provide the following:

All policies and certificates of insurance, except workers’ compensation, shall be endorsed to name TCNJ as an additional insured and provide for the insurer’s waiver of subrogation in favor of TCNJ.

  1. Commercial General Liability Insurance covering bodily injury, death or property damage with minimum combined single limits of $2,000,000.00 per occurrence and in the aggregate. This policy shall be endorsed to name the TCNJ as an additional insured and include broad form contractual liability, products liability and completed operations coverage.
  2. Worker’s Compensation and Employer’s Liability Insurance which provides statutory coverage in accordance with the Worker’s Compensation Laws of the State of New Jersey and Employer’s Liability coverage with limits of not less than:
    a. $1,000,000 each employee for Bodily Injury by Accident
    b. $1,000,000 each employee for Bodily Injury by Disease
    c. $1,000,000 Bodily Injury by Disease policy limit
  3. Business Automobile Liability insurance covering all owned, non-owned and hired vehicles with a combined single limit of $1,000,000 each accident and in the aggregate.
  4. Copy of Current Food Safety Certification for at least one food handler.
  5. Copy of Current Mobile Food Vendor License

Some Food Trucks may ALSO require:

  1. Fire inspection
  2. Health inspector inspection

Different types of Food Trucks may require different permits and permissions (i.e. Ice Cream Truck vs. Food truck with propane cooking appliances). Please connect with OSI and/or the BSC Student Scheduler at least 4 weeks ahead of your event to learn what permits and permissions you may need for the food trucks you want to use.

BBQ’s and Grilling:

Recognized Student Organizations may work with the College to have events where grilling is permitted.  Please go to the Fire Safety website and click on Fire Safety Permits and Approvals (Event Planning)” dropdown for further instruction.