Food, Water, and Housing
Frequently Asked Questions
This FAQ provides additional information, background, and answers to the most commonly asked questions related to food, water, and housing sanitation at the University of Minnesota.
- Who inspects University restaurants and housing facilities?
Inspections are performed by health inspectors from University Health and Safety (UHS), which can be described as the University's public health department. We are referred to interchangeably as health inspectors, sanitarians, or environmental health specialists. We inspect dormitories, food courts, convenience stores, Fairview Hospital, and Student Union and Activities-run food facilities like Goldy's Gameroom.
- What do I do if I think I got sick from eating at a campus food facility?
If your symptoms are severe you should immediately contact your healthcare provider. In addition, regardless of the severity of your symptoms, contact UHS at (612) 626-6002 and ask to speak to a health inspector regarding a possible foodborne illness. The inspector will ask for basic information, and may refer you to the Minnesota Department (MDH) of Health Foodborne Illness Hotline at 1-877-FOOD-ILL (1-877-366-3455)
- What do I have to do to host an event where food is offered to the public?
First, read the requirements for holding a special event, then fill out a special event food permit application. Submit the application to UHS at least FIVE days prior to your planned event date. The entire permit must be filled out; missing information will result in your permit being denied. Failure to obtain a permit WILL result in the closure and removal of your food stand during your event. An inspector will work with you to ensure your event goes forward. Contact UHS if you have problems filling out the permit.
- Where can I find the University Special Event Food Permit application?
A link to the permit is included above, can be found on the UHS webpage, or you can pick one up at the UHS main office W-140 Boynton Health Service, 410 Church St SE, Minneapolis, MN
- Do I always need a permit to sell or give away food on the University campus?
There are some occasions when a food permit is not required:
- The food items are nonperishable and obtained from a licensed commercial source (candy, bottled water, prepackaged beverages not requiring refrigeration, coffee, tea, chips, cake, cookies, buns, brownies, packaged ice cream, etc.)
- The number of attendees is 25 or less
- All food is provided by UDS/Aramark, UMM/UMC Sodexho, or UMD Food Services
- The event is closed to the public and the general University community does not have access or is not invited. Contact UHS at 612-626-6002 for more information.
- How do I determine if my event is open to the public?
An "open event" is any event or function held on University property, where any member of the general University community can obtain food without being specially invited or being a member of the group sponsoring the event. However, we strongly recommend that you contact UHS at (612) 626-6002 for help determining if your event is an "open event."
- From what sources can I obtain foods for a public event at the university?
For the protection of students, staff, and the public attending a meeting, conference, special event, etc., on University of Minnesota property, food will be prepared in, and/or provided by the University Dining Services or a licensed commercial food facility.
Except for nonperishable bake sale items meeting parameters set forth in the UHS Bake Sale Requirements, no home prepared foods are allowed to be sold or given away.
- What are the rules for a Bake Sale?
Follow the link or contact UHS for the requirements for holding a bake sale on University property.
- What should I do if I have a complaint about a University swimming pool?
Contact UHS and ask to speak to a health inspector. University health inspectors respond to complaints about cleanliness, water contamination, and general maintenance conditions at University swimming pools. Working cooperatively with the University’s Certified Pool Operators, we ensure the water and grounds are maintained in a safe condition.
- Are swimming pools inspected by UHS?
UHS inspects University swimming pools, spas, and therapy pools to ensure the water meets all standards for water quality and pool maintenance. University pools typically exceed state requirements for equipment and monitoring.
- What do I do if I have a concern about my University Housing unit?
Contact Residential Life at 612-624-2994 or UHS at (612) 626-6002 for issues regarding housing sanitation. UHS works cooperatively with the Office of Residential Life and Facilities Maintenance to address complaints regarding housing safety and sanitation.