University of Minnesota  Administrative Policy

Environmental Health: Food, Water and Sanitation

Policy Statement

The University of Minnesota (the University) is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for its students, faculty, staff and visitors through effective environmental health protection.  University  Health and Safety (UHS) is responsible for environmental health preventative activities in the areas of food safety and water, housing and pest sanitation. UHS works in partnership with various departments within the University system and with the University Public Health Officer as necessary to achieve its objectives.

All University faculty, staff, students and visitors are affected by this policy; particularly, individuals who eat in on campus dining facilities, live in University housing, use University swimming or therapeutic pools, and/or drink water supplied by University fixtures.  In addition, all staff who work in University dining or housing facilities, and staff charged with maintenance of those facilities are impacted.

Food Safety

Complaints about foodborne illnesses should be directed to UHS at 612-624-6002 or to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) Foodborne Illness Hotline at 877-FOOD-ILL (877-366-3455). Individuals responsible for food service and dining facility operation must enforce the federal and state standards for food safety. Licensing, permitting, and inspecting food brought to, or prepared on all University campuses is the responsibility of UHS. The University will enforce the Minnesota Food Code (MN Rules Chapter 4626) as its official food code (See Administrative Procedure: Food Safety).

Water Sanitation

Drinking Water Quality

Individuals responsible for maintenance, operation, installation or construction of any drinking water system on University property, must comply with all applicable state or federal codes and standards regarding the maintenance , operation, installation or construction of  the drinking water system, to ensure that water intended for human consumption meets U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) water quality standards as specified in the National Primary Drinking Water Regulations (See Administrative Procedure: Water Sanitation).

Swimming Pool Water Quality

Individuals responsible for sanitation and basic safety requirements of University swimming pools  must comply with  the State of Minnesota Public Swimming Pool Rules.  (See Administrative Procedure: Water Sanitation). 

Housing Sanitation

All University housing, including residence halls and apartments, must be maintained in a manner that prevents the transmission of disease and/or other conditions that constitute an environmental health hazard or nuisance (see Administrative Procedure: Housing Sanitation).

Pest Sanitation

Units may request environmental health consultation services regarding pest control and environmental health hazard activities on campus grounds and property as needed. (See Administrative Procedure: Pest Sanitation).

Reason for Policy

To implement the commitments set forth in Board of Regents Policy: Health and Safety (PDF). The protection of the health and safety of students, faculty, staff and visitors is a primary responsibility of the Regents of the University of Minnesota. 

The policy delineates the University's expectations for protecting and ensuring environmental and public health. The University must comply with regulations set forth by the Minnesota  Department of Health as well as federal regulations. This policy sets forth the responsibilities held by students, staff and faculty in regards to Food, Water and Sanitation on all campuses.


Primary Contact(s)Mark Rossi612-626-6152[email protected]
Twin CitiesMark Rossi612-625-6152[email protected]
CrookstonTom Feiro218-281-8300[email protected]
DuluthLaura Lott218-726-6917[email protected]
MorrisDale Livingston320-589-6106[email protected]
RochesterBarry Standorf507-258-8217[email protected]
Responsible Individuals
Responsible Officer Policy Owner Primary Contact
  • Assistant Vice President for Health, Safety, and Risk Management
  • Assistant Vice President for Health, Safety, and Risk Management
  • Mark Rossi
    Environmental Health and Safety Specialist - UHLSF Building Codes


Environmental Health

The branch of public health that is concerned with all aspects of the natural and built environment that may affect human health; includes practice of assessing and controlling factors in the environment that can potentially affect health.


A biological, chemical, or physical agent that may adversely affect human health and/or the environment.


The science associated with the prevention of illness and maintenance of health.

Infectious Disease

A clinical disease resulting from exposure to an infectious agent.


The authority granted by UHS to operate a food service establishment.

Officer of the Day

Role delegated by the President to be responsible for and have the authority to implement the Emergency Operations Plan and provide overall policy direction of the University of Minnesota resources during an emergency/disaster situation.  The Officer of the Day (OOD) assesses emergency/disaster situations and makes recommendation on whether to close all or portion(s) of the Twin Cities Campus in the event of an emergency/disaster. The OOD in conjunction with the on-scene Incident Commander determines the emergency level and makes response decisions. 

Perishable Foods

Foods that require holding or storage below 41°F or above 140°F in order to prevent rapid growth of potentially pathogenic bacteria.


A license granted by an oversight agency or office to engage in some activity.

Public Health

The science and practice of community hygiene; includes preventive medicine, health education, sanitation and environmental safety.

Public Health Hazard

Any condition upon real property which poses an immediate and direct hazard to human health due to the existence of the condition itself or due to the immediate threat of transmission of disease through insects, animals or other means of transmission or infection

Public Health Nuisance

Defined in Minnesota Statutes sections 145A.02, subd. 17 and includes, but is not limited to, any condition which poses an immediate and direct hazard to human health if left unremedied due to the existence of the condition itself or due to the immediate threat of transmission of disease through insects, animals, or other means of transmission or infections

Swimming Pool

Any structure, chamber, or tank containing an artificial body of water for swimming, diving, relaxation, or other recreational use, including special purpose pools and wading pools.  This does not include reflecting pools or other water features that are primarily for aesthetic/decorative purposes.


Vice President for University Services:

Provides resources and support to facilitate the University’s compliance with this policy. The Vice President for University Services serves as the primary Officer of the Day (OOD), responsible for assessment of emergency/disaster situations and making recommendation on whether to close all or portion(s) the Twin Cities Campus in the event of an emergency/disaster. The OOD in conjunction with the on-scene Incident Commander determines the emergency level and makes response decisions.

University Public Health Officer:

Ensures that public health issues affecting the University community are addressed in a timely, efficient, and effective manner while utilizing the available resources and expertise available both internal and external to the University. Responsibilities include: identifying new or emerging public health issues on campus that require the development or revision of University policies or which require a proactive University response; providing recommendations for policies or actions to the Officer of the Day; identifying spokespersons and points of contact for public health issues affecting the campus; and ensuring adequate, timely and effective information sharing and coordination between the University of Minnesota and relevant external agencies including the Minnesota Department of Health, University of Minnesota Medical Center, and other as appropriate

Office of Emergency Response (OER)

Provides day-to-day technical, programmatic, and administrative support to the University Public Health Officer. OER coordinates public health emergency planning, response, and exercises on campus. OER also represents the University in local, state, and national public health emergency planning, response, and exercise activities.

Boynton Health Service (BHS)

Supports this policy by providing, clinical and/or epidemiologic assistance in the investigation of, and response to of foodborne, waterborne, and other infectious disease outbreaks linked to University operations.

Facilities Management (FM)

Responsible for the physical assets of the University and supports this policy by to ensuring a quality environment for students, faculty, staff and visitors in support of the University’s mission of teaching, research and outreach.

Housing and Residential Life (HRL)

Serves the University and supports this policy by providing housing that adheres to a quality standard of cleanliness, repair, renovation, and construction consistent with healthy and safe living. In addition, HRL is equipped with a well-trained staff to respond to issues and concerns that could impact health and safety in its facilities.

Building Codes

Protects the health, welfare, and safety of University of Minnesota students, employees and visitors in the built environment through education and code enforcement.

University Dining Services (UDS)

Provides  for the food and beverage needs of the U of M community with campus and residential restaurants and full service catering department.

Student Union & Activities (SUA)

Supports this policy by ensuring that students/student groups participating in SUA programs where food is served are aware of, and comply with food safety requirements of this policy.

Chancellors, Deans, Directors, Department Heads

Communicate this policy and procedure to affected staff, faculty, and students, support programs implementing this policy, and to provide resources for unit to comply with policy.

Health, Safety and Risk Management (HSMS)

Facilitates compliance with this policy by conducting routine and/or special inspections to monitor and document compliance, and by consulting with and advising University stakeholders of steps to take to achieve compliance.



August 2016 - Comprehensive Review, Minor Revision. 1. Changes in the organizational structure requires updating of ownership and program names.2. Specifies the new process of how foodborne illness complaints are handled (those involving University Dining facilities).


May 2011 - New Policy, Comprehensive Review