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Food Safety and Health

Applying to all groups, all pre-planned and scheduled social occasions taking place at Arizona State University (ASU) where food and/or beverage is present must be provided by a university-contracted food service provider or by a pre-approved outside food vendor. Food and beverage can range from small food items (sandwiches, pizzas, desserts, etc.) to fully prepared and catered meals. Certain ASU buildings and structures across all ASU campuses have exclusive food contracts. Event planners should confirm contract exclusivity.

Using food providers other than those ASU has contracted with for these exclusive sites requires prior written approval to ensure ASU complies with its contractual requirements.  

All outside vendors providing food and/or beverage must be approved prior to the event taking place and must have a current license or permit to operate in their jurisdiction [FDA Food Code, 3-201.11].  Additionally, all vendors must show sufficient food safety efforts on recent comprehensive Routine Inspections. Some of these reviews and approvals will be handled by those who are planning/hosting an ASU event, and their overseeing supervisor/advisor(s). 

All ASU event food vendors must have a current permit to operate and a sufficient recent food safety history. Approval will come from one of two types of outside food vendor reviews and approval processes:

Type 1: “Ready to Eat” (‘RTE’)

“Ready to Eat” refers to any type of food that is edible without additional preparation to achieve food safety, [FDA Food Code, Purpose and Definitions] and there is no onsite food preparation prior to consumption. Common examples of “Ready to Eat” food/beverage items include pizza, sub sandwiches, etc. that are dropped off or picked up and brought to an event at the planned time of consumption.

A Food Exception Request will need to be submitted when the venue is in an exclusive contracted space and/or when written approval is given by the contracted ASU food provider to use an outside restaurant/food vendor for ‘Ready To Eat’ event foods. For ‘RTE’ requests in contract exclusive venues, all ASU student organizations, offices and departments must:

  • Complete an application for a Food Exception Request AND 
  • Confirm that any outside restaurant/food vendor allowed has
    1. A current permit to operate and
    2. A sufficient recent food safety history (see below).

Note that the submission of a Food Exception Request form does not guarantee approval.

For non-contract exclusive spaces, the person(s) planning the food for the event/meeting does not need to submit a FER. However, they are still required to review the permitting and recent ‘Routine Inspection’ (food safety) history of the outside restaurant/food vendor. This must be done prior to ordering any food.

Verifying Current Permits and Recent Food Safety:
  1. Visit the Maricopa County Restaurant Ratings website and enter the establishment address (or business name). Please note that the spelling must be precise to their County-listed permit name. When a permit is found, this indicates a valid permit with Maricopa County.
  2. To show sufficient food safety history on their recent Routine Inspection(s), click on the hyperlinked permit ID number (on the left side of page; that matches the submitted vendor’s address/location) and review the vendor’s recent inspection history page that opens.
    Looking at the “Inspected Date” and “Purpose” columns first, if most recently dated *‘Routine Inspection’ shows zero (0) ‘Priority Violations’ (to the right), then they are a good candidate for ASU event use. *Only “Routine Inspection” or “Verification Visit” entries count for this review. (Entries for an “Advisory”, “Re-Inspection”, or any other type are not ‘full/comprehensive’ inspection visits.)
    *Capture and save a screenshot of their ‘permitting and inspection history’ webpage. This shall include the vendor’s Business Name, Permit ID number, Type and Address, as well as the vendor’s recent Routine Inspection history showing zero (0) Priority Violations; on the day approval is granted. The approving person(s) shall save and maintain a copy of the outside vendor’s permit and inspection history webpage as support for their approval record for if/when it is ever requested by ASU Food Safety and Health or an associated Public Health regulatory entity within Arizona.
If criteria above are not met, an outside food/beverage vendor cannot be used.

It is unlikely a valid/current permit for a vendor exists if no listed outside permit can be found in the online system. Please email questions or requests for assistance to ASU Food Safety & Health Manager, Michael Britt at: michael.britt@asu.edu.

Type 2:  Onsite Food Preparation

When the person(s) planning and hosting the event determines there will be “open-food” preparation at the event, an application for a Temporary Food Establishment Permit will be required. The application can also be found on the ASU Food Safety and Health webpage. Additionally, a Certificate of Insurance from the vendor is required and must be obtained and validated by the person hosting the event. Insurance requirements and examples can be found on the Risk Management website. Please email Risk Management Services if you have questions about what requirements apply or whether additional coverage may be needed.

Common examples of “open food” preparation include mobile food trucks/units, and onsite food catering where a food vendor is physically present and open foods are cooked, sliced, temperature controlled (via; hot or cold holding), plated/served, etc. onsite at an event.

ASU has four geographically separate campus locations in Maricopa County: Tempe, Polytechnic, West Valley and Downtown Phoenix. Each separate ASU campus location is considered a different event location. Temporary Food Establishment permits are valid only for ASU campus locations/events for which they are initially approved, and vendor approval does not extend to other campuses/locations.

The same approved outside food vendor may be used at the same campus location as often as wanted over a 2-week period (starting with the initial event date of use), without needing a new approval or fee payment. A Temporary Food Establishment Permit application must be submitted via email at least 7 working days prior to the event, to the ASU Food Safety & Health Manager, Michael Britt at: michael.britt@asu.edu

Once submitted, the food vendor, or the person(s) planning and hosting the event shall submit payment for the Temporary Food Establishment Permit via check or money order made out to: ‘Arizona State University’ to the address on the top of the application, and Attention: ASU Food Safety & Health.

ASU departments may also arrange an internal transfer payment (using CC, PG, SC codes) by providing the necessary transfer information via email along with the submitted Temporary Food Establishment Permit application. Any additional questions or issues can be emailed to ASU Food Safety & Health Manager, Michael Britt at: michael.britt@asu.edu or via phone at: 480-965-6853.

FAQ – Catering Exception Guidelines

Food Safety Forms

Quick Links


Correspondence Mailing Address Plans Mailing / Physical Address
Michael Britt, Manager, Food Safety & Health Sanitarian
Telephone: 480-965-6853
Arizona State University Memorial Union
P.O. Box 870901
Tempe, AZ 85287-0901
Michael Britt, Manager, Food Safety & Health Sanitarian
Telephone: 480-965-6853
Arizona State University Memorial Union
P.O. Box 870901
Tempe, AZ 85287-0901
Phone: 480-965-6853