Campus Catering Policy

The university's food service contractor operates under a contract with the CSUDH Foundation. As is common in most campus food service agreements, the food service contractor is granted exclusive rights to provide food services on our campus. It is imperative that the Foundation and the campus honor the commitment in the contract. It is university policy that any catering activities held on campus must be provided by the Foundation's food service contractor (currently CSU Dominguez Hills Foundation). It is the responsibility of the Foundation to ensure that quality food and service are provided at fair prices by this contractor. Questions regarding this policy or requests for exemptions due to special circumstances, as well as suggestions for improved service, should be addressed to the Director of Commercial Services at (310) 243-3814.

All campus organizations wishing to sell food must comply with the following conditions to provide for the health and safety of the campus community:


Prevention of food infection or food poisoning is of primary concern. High-risk foods are those which are moist and high in protein, such as chicken, turkey, other meat and fish dishes, eggs, and dairy products. Custards, cream pies, and salads (such as potato, chicken, turkey, and tuna) are also of concern. Frozen meats should be thawed in the refrigerator, not at room temperature, and cooked immediately after thawing. Cook thoroughly and use a meat thermometer for large roasts, turkeys, etc. Before preparing, mixing, or handling ingredients, and/or immediately after using restroom facilities, every person should wash his/her hands and arms thoroughly with soap or detergent and warm water and rinse them in clean water. No person should prepare or serve food if he/she is likely to have a contagious disease or infection (e.g. a cold).


Food that is transported from where it has been prepared must be properly protected while in transit. Food should be prepared as soon as possible to the time of serving. If perishables are prepared the night before, they are to be kept cold in a refrigerator, transported on ice, and kept cold until served or heated for serving.


All perishable foods or beverages to be served cold are to be kept at or below 45°F degrees after preparation until served. All perishable foods and beverages to be served hot are to be kept at or above 140°F degrees while being served. No article of food or beverages, which has been served previously to any person or returned from any table, will be used in the preparation of other foods or beverages. The serving area and all adjacent areas should be cleaned with soapy water or disinfectant and kept free of litter and rubbish at all times.

Rules Governing Food Sale or Service

  1. Temperature Control: Adequate facilities must be provided for keeping cold foods below 45°F degrees and hot foods at 140°F degrees or hotter at all times.
  2. Food Protection: Provisions must be made for protecting foods from dust or other contamination during transport, storage, and service by use of covers, plastic wrap, or other suitable utensils. Persons servicing foods must have clean hands, clean outer garments, and not suffer from respiratory, gastrointestinal, or skin infections, and are required to wear plastic disposable gloves. Plates, cups, and eating utensils must be single service. Soft drinks or punch must be served from original containers or dispensing equipment approved by the Environmental Health and Occupational Safety Office.
  3. Sanitation: Adequate trash cans must be provided for disposal of waste materials. The area surrounding the food service must be kept clean at all times and left in a clean condition at the conclusion of each day's service.
  4. Sales or Service Period: Food sales are limited to two (2) consecutive days. Unusual circumstances will be considered on an individual basis.
  5. All food permits approved by the Campus Dining Office must be maintained and displayed at the sales or service location.
  6. Use of Dining Services kitchens or equipment is strictly prohibited.
  7. Cleanup of all food and drink and related items is the responsibility of the sponsoring organization. Failure to do so will result in appropriate cleanup charges.

Basics for Handling Food Safely

Safe steps in food handling, cooking, and storage are essential to prevent food-borne illness. You can not see, smell, or taste harmful bacteria that may cause illness. In every step of food preparation, follow the four FIGHT BAC™ guidelines to keep food safe:

  • Clean: Wash hands and surfaces often
  • Separate: Don't cross-contaminate
  • Cook: Cook to proper temperatures
  • Chill: Refrigerate promptly


Always refrigerate perishable foods within two (2) hours. Refrigerate within one (1) hour when temperature is above 90°F. Check the temperature of your refrigerator and freezer with an appliance thermometer. The refrigerator should be at 40°F or below and the freezer at 0°F or below. Cook or freeze fresh poultry, fish, ground meats, and variety meats within two(2) days; other beef, veal, lamb, or pork, within three (3) to five (5) days. Perishable food such as meat and poultry should be wrapped securely to maintain quality and to prevent meat juices from getting onto other food.


Cook ground meats to 160°F; ground poultry to 165°F. Beef, veal, and lamb steaks, roasts, and chops may be cooked to 145°F; all cuts of fresh pork, to 160°F.


Hot food should be held at 140°F or warmer. Cold food should be held at 40°F or colder. When serving food at a buffet, keep food hot with chafing dishes, slow cookers, and warming trays. Keep food cold by nesting dishes in bowls of ice or use small serving trays and replace them often. Perishable food should not be left out more than two (2) hours at room temperature, or one (1) hour when the temperature is above 90°F.