Skip to content

Food Safety

UC Merced Food Safety Program is designed to reduce the potential for foodborne illness by evaluating and inspecting food facilities on campus for compliance with current state laws. 

EH&S inspects retail food facilities, temporary food events, mobile food trucks and large public events. All inspections conducted are unannounced. 


Permanent Food Facilities

Permanent food facilities on campus are inspected by EH&S on a regular basis to ensure safe food handling and cleanliness that meet the highest standards. The permanent food facilities are scored based on compliance with the California Retail Food Code (CalCode). Placards are issued based on the following: Green placard (pass), Yellow placard (conditional) and Red placard (closed). A copy of the inspection report is maintained by the food establishments -- Dining Services or the private restaurant manager. EH&S maintains an electronic copy of all food safety inspection reports conducted on campus.


Temporary Food Facilities

Food safety standards apply to all facilities including temporary food facilities. A temporary food facility usually consists of a fully enclosed tent or booth and is constructed for the duration of the event. Temporary food events can range in the length of time they are operational. Every temporary food facility at a temporary or occasional event that will be serving food to the public or anyone to the campus community must have a valid UCM-Temporary Food Permit for that event. *TFF LIMIT: 25 consecutive or nonconsecutive days in a 90-day period. 

food permit request must be submitted at least seven (7) business days prior to the event. Food Safety Training must be completed online prior to submitting a food permit request. Food Safety Training is required every 3 years. A trained food handler must be present at all times during the food event. 

  • Review and understanding of the guidelines are also required

Having trouble accessing Food Safety Training fill out a form on


Public vs Private Events

Community Public Event

The California Retail Food Code states a Community Event means an event that is of civic, political, public, or educational nature, including state and county fairs, city festivals, circuses, and other public gathering events approved by the local enforcement agency. An event is considered public and requires a Temporary Health Permit to Operate if the following describes the event:

  1. Event is free or a ticket/pass can be purchased by the general public.
  2. Event is advertised through media ‐ internet, newspaper, television, radio, and billboard.
  3. The general public would attend the event either by interest of the trade or advertisement of the event.

Private Event

An event is considered private and does not require a Temporary Health Permit to Operate if the following criteria are met:

  1. Event is invitation only or held for a private club or corporation.
  2. Participants need eligibility to attend, such as a professional licenses or certificate for the profession (e.g. doctors, lawyers, teachers, plumbers).


    Off-Campus Food Vendors

    Outside food establishments who plan to prepare and handle food for service on campus to our community and the public must be on UC Approved List and must submit a hard copy of the following documents to Procurement Department prior to serving food at any event:

    1. Current Environmental Health permit from the county where they do business
    2. Employee's Food Safety training certificates for all food handlers who will be involved in the food process

     Please be advised that EH&S will review and inspect your facility prior to the start of the event. For more information please contact Procurement (209) 205-6264 or the Registered Environmental Health Specialist (209) 285-8947.

    Please use this link to report any food safety complaints or concerns

    Foodborne Illness

    Foodborne illness is an illness that is caused by the consumption of contaminated food that contains pathogenic bacteria, viruses, or parasites. Chemical and natural toxins can also be causes of foodborne illness. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) provides information on frequently caused diseases in the United States which can be found at


    Partially Hydrogenated Oils 

    **Notice on FDA Order Pertaining to Partially Hydrogentaed Oils (PHOs)** 

    Important Information Regarding new FDA Regulations


    Useful Documents 

    Food Facilities Inspection Reports

    Temporary Food Event Application

    Temporary Food Event Guidelines

    Temporary Food Permit Flowchart

    Bake Sale Guidelines 

    Proper Handwashing Techniques (Video)

    UC Merced Approved Caterers List

    Large Event Organizer Application 

    UCM General Guidelines for Food Safety 

    UCM Catering Guidelines 

    UCM Lakeside Catering

    Quick Food Safety Checklist 

    Food Allergens


    Information Resources 

    Campus Interim Policy COVID

    California Retail Food Code

    Federal Food Safety Site

    FDA's listing of food recalls, withdrawls and safety alerts

    USDA's Food and Inspection Service 

    Eat Safe Cheese

    Single Use Plastic Straw Ban at Full Service Resturants