TAP No. 51: Food and Beverages—Safe Sale or Serving 


This policy applies to faculty, students, and staff; all individuals doing business with or providing services to the University; and all other persons that participate in the University's programs and activities, including third-party visitors on campus.


The Duquesne University community has a strong tradition of fellowship which often involves the sale or serving of food. We regularly focus on bringing our community members together through events ranging from philanthropic fundraisers (bake sales) to relationship building activities (potlucks). The University wishes to continue these positive traditions and asks that all students and employees adhere to the following guidelines when planning such events. These guidelines will help to keep you and your guests safe; allow the University to observe local and state regulations on safe food handling; and uphold contractual agreements between the University and approved vendors.

I. Guidelines

The sale or serving of food and beverages of any kind, at functions, fundraisers, or programs by anyone other than the authorized, exclusive University vendors, Parkhurst Dining and Pepsi Bottling Company, is only permitted with written approval from the University's catering department located in Union 318 unless noted below as an exception.

NOTE: Grilling must be pre-approved and supervised by Duquesne Dining. In addition, grilling is not permitted near a building intake and is specifically prohibited during weekdays on Mellon patio and grounds.

Except to the limited extent the University chooses to bring food trucks onto campus for activities and events such as Food Truck Fridays, food trucks are not permitted on campus.  Individuals, students’ groups, and Departments are not permitted to bring food trucks onto campus for any reason, including fundraising.

II. Exceptions

Food sales or serving of food by Duquesne University departments and registered student organizations is permitted so long as products:

  1. Have been prepared by Duquesne Dining (Special pricing for registered student organizations can be found in the Student Organization Catering Guide) OR
  2. Are commercially prepared, used for meetings, and total cost does not exceed $150 (ie. pizza, subs, baked goods) OR
  3. Are not required to be temperature controlled (See Addendum 2: Food Safety Guidelines for Serving Hot and Cold Foods) OR
  4. Are not used for any catered function. All events on campus requesting catering must use Duquesne Dining OR
  5. Are pre-packaged for resale OR
  6. Are identified on the Approved Food Sale or Serving List (See Addendum 1: Approved Food Sale or Serving List) OR
  7. Are part of a Potluck:

    Potlucks are gatherings where food prepared at home is provided for small groups of no more than 50 faculty, staff or students on Duquesne University property. Groups over 50 must contact Duquesne Dining two weeks prior to event. Potlucks are permitted as long as groups do not charge admittance, ask for donations or charge for food at these events.

    The potluck cannot be advertised to the campus community or to the public. For your safety, the Safety Guidelines for Serving Hot and Cold Foods must be followed when hosting potlucks.

NOTE: ALL food sales or serving of food must include a table tent with the following message: "These food items may contain nut products or other allergens."

III. Clean-up / Storage / Return

Please contact the appropriate facility scheduler and/or Duquesne Dining for established policies regarding clean-up/ storage/return of any unused food items or related materials.

IV. Approved Food Sale or Serving List Examples:

  1. Individually sized, commercially prepackaged food (e.g., chips, candy, cookies, etc.)
  2. Baked products that do not contain cream or egg fillings that need to be refrigerated
  3. Donuts
  4. Popcorn
  5. Soft pretzels
  6. Cotton candy
  7. Snow Cones
  8. Candied or caramel apples, as long as the apples are not sliced
  9. Whole fruits or vegetables, which have not been sliced or cut in any way
  10. Bagels, muffins, breads, or other bread products
  11. Chips, and tortilla chips with salsa or cheese that do not require refrigeration
  12. Commercially canned, bottled and/or pre-mixed packaged non-alcoholic PEPSI brand beverages including bottled water.
  13. Coffee and/or tea served with sweeteners and nondairy creamers
  14. Any food purchased from Duquesne Dining, including Duquesne Dining Catering, Starbucks, Freshens, Chick-fil-A, Cinco Cantina, Incline, Moonlit Burgers and others under license to the University.

*Special pricing for registered student organizations can be found in the Student Organization Catering Guide

*ALL food sales or serving of food must include a table tent with the following message: "These food items may contain nut products or other allergens."

For further information regarding the safe sale or serving of food and beverages, please contact dining@duq.edu.

V. Food Safety Guidelines for Serving Hot and Cold Foods

The following food safety information will help prevent a food-borne illness when serving hot/cold foods:

  1. Keep Hot Food Hot  
    1. Hot foods need to be kept at 140F or higher. Hot foods should be brought to a potluck event in a crock pot or other heated food container with the food temperature already at 140F or higher. The heated container should be plugged in immediately (or the flame heater lit) to maintain a temperature of at least 140F. Any hot foods brought in non-heated containers need to be placed in a heated oven to maintain a food temperature of 140F or higher.
    2. A food thermometer (metal stem) should be used to check the temperature of hot foods when they arrive, and every 30 minutes during holding and at the time of cooking if grilling has been approved to take place. Food thermometers and temperature logs are available through Duquesne Dining.
    3. Make sure that the hamburger or ground beef in any dishes has been thoroughly cooked - there should not be any visible pink color. If grilling has been approved, ground beef patties need to be heated to an internal temperature of 155F for 15 seconds to deactivate any pathogenic bacteria (such as E. coli O157H7).
    4. Hot foods that have cooled to room temperature should not be reheated; throw them away. (Food-borne illness organisms grow best at warm temperatures!)
  2. Keep Cold Foods Cold
    1. Readily perishable cold foods (such as pasta salads, cold cut meats and potato salads) need to be kept at a temperature of 40F or below. It is best to keep cold foods in a refrigerator until just ready to serve. If you do not have access to a refrigerator or there is not enough room in the refrigerator, use an insulated cooler and pour ice on top of sealed food containers.
    2. Two hours is the maximum time food should be left un-refrigerated.
    3. A food thermometer (metal stem) should be used to check the temperature of cold foods when they arrive and every 30 minutes to see if the refrigerator or insulated cooler is keeping foods properly chilled

VI. Food Handling and Protection

  1. Everyone needs to thoroughly wash his or her hands before working with foods.
  2. Keep beverage ice separate from ice used to chill foods in a cooler; and do not handle ice with bare hands - use a clean cup or scoop.
  3. Keep food and utensils covered until serving time.
  4. Food should not be exposed to temperatures above 40F and below 140F for more than 4 hours including preparation and transportation time.
  5. Do not take leftovers home - toss them out. The food has been handled by many people and may be contaminated.

VII. Violations

Violations of this policy will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and are subject to formal disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.

VI. History

Date of most recent revision: April 27, 2018.

VII. Ownership of Policy

Questions related to this policy should be directed to the Department of Auxiliary Services.