Requirements for Food Sales or Service

Commercial Food Vendors: Food sales by vendors other than Iowa State University Dining Service require prior review and
approval by the Office of Risk Management (ORM) to become an authorized food vendor. More information on becoming an approved vendor and a list of approved vendors can be found here.

Condiments or food on display: Condiments or food on display must be protected or covered. (For example: Ketchup and mustard
should be in squeeze containers or individual packets, pickles should be in individual packets)

Food Contact Surfaces: Must be in good repair and clean. Cleaning of preparation surfaces must be done with 100 ppm solution of
sanitizer and change the solution often. (Approximately 1 gallon of water to 1 tablespoon of bleach)

Food Source: All food items or supplies must come from approved sources that comply with all state laws and regulations for food
service establishments. Almost all food and beverages purchased at a grocery store, discount warehouse, or licensed food
establishments will be considered an approved source. Home-canned food items are prohibited from use at ISU public events.

  • All food items must be wholesome and free of contamination.
  • All fruits and vegetables shall be washed before being used.
  • All meat must be checked to make sure the dates on packaging indicate the meat has not been held more than one year in frozen storage. The meat must be for commercial preparation, USDA or State of Iowa inspected (donated products that are packages of meat which are stamped “not for sale” by a meat locker cannot be used).
  • All meats and poultry products shall be either Federal or Iowa inspected products.
  • Milk shall be served in the original container or from an approved dispenser.

Hand Wash: A means of washing hands must be established. A water container must be used that allows the user to wash hands
freely without continuously depressing the spigot or tilting the container. A bucket to collect wastewater must be below the hand
washing container. Hand soap, hand sanitizer, and disposable paper towels must be on-site at all times during the event. Hands must
be wiped dry with paper or disposable towels (no cloth towels are allowed).

Ice: Ice must be obtained from a commercial source such as a grocery store, convenience store, etc. There should be separate ice
coolers, one with ice to store food items and a separate one with ice used to fill drink cups.

Iowa Code for Temporary Food Establishments: The Iowa Code for Temporary Food Establishments must be followed.

On-site Preparation: Food must be prepared on site at the event unless transported by a licensed food vendor. Home food
production is limited to baked goods that are not temperature controlled for safety.

Leftovers: No unused perishable food brought to the event location may be stored for re-use. Unused or left-over food (i.e.
meat, potato salad, etc.) must be disposed after all temporary food stand events.

Paper Products: Only single service items may be used to serve to the public.

Plastic Gloves: Gloves must be worn at all times by all workers handling or serving food. New gloves must be used if contamination of the gloves occurs, such as handling money etc.

Raw Foods: Keep raw foods, especially meats, packed separate from cooked and prepared food items. 

Temperatures while serving: Foods should be kept no more than two hours at temperatures between 40 degrees F and 135 degrees
F. Do not let food stand in the sun. Hot foods should be served from roasters or warming containers and cold foods served in
containers kept in an ice bath or insulated hard-sided cooler.

Hot/Cold Hold: Food requiring refrigeration must be held below 41 degrees F during transportation and prior to
preparation or sale. Hot foods must be transported at a temperature above 135 degrees F. Food can be transported in
insulated hard-sided coolers or thermal containers, but cold foods should not be transported in the trunk of a car.

Thermometer: A stem type thermometer capable of measuring temperatures from 0 degrees to 220 degrees F should
be used. Cooking temperatures should be closely watched. Please use the following guidelines:
Brisket (Raw Meat): 145 degrees F
Hamburger (Ground Meat): 155 degrees F
Hot Dogs: 155 degrees F
Chicken (Poultry): 165 degrees F
Note: Chicken is generally not recommended for temporary food stand service. If it is used, the ISU Student
Organization must be able to meet State Code for safe handling.

Holding temperatures for all meat: 140 degrees F

Three Compartment Sink (or 3 tubs): A portable three compartment sink must be used for utensil washing. The first tub is used
for warm soapy water, the second tub is to rinse, the third tub is to sanitize. To make sanitizer the proper strength for washing
utensils, mix 1 tablespoon of bleach for every gallon of water used.

Utensils/Plates: Use clean dishes and utensils for serving, not those used in preparation. Serve cooked foods on clean plates, not
ones that have held raw meat, poultry or fish.

Vending Contracts: Organizations cannot sell or serve foods that are in violation of the university’s vending contracts.

Waste: Port-a-potties and trash receptacles must be provided if not already available.

Water: An approved water source must be established and available during the time of food sales.

Workers or Volunteers: All workers or volunteers must sign a log sheet which includes: name, address, telephone, date and hours
worked. The log must be kept on file for 30 days by the person in charge of the event and made available to the State Department
of Health upon request.

Personal Hygiene: Workers or volunteers must have clean hands, clothing and appropriate hair restraint. Do not handle
foods if you have any gastric upset, communicable diseases or open cuts or sores. Smoking, eating and drinking in food
booths is not allowed.

Special Circumstances: All requests for exceptions from any of these requirements or any changes to an approved food sales
agreement must be submitted to the Office of Risk Management for approval prior to the event.