Food Safety Program

The EH&S Food Safety Program ensures UW dining facilities meet the highest standards in food safety, and protects the public from foodborne illness.

EH&S oversees food-related activities at all UW locations, including the UW Medical Center, Harborview Medical Center, UW Bothell and UW Tacoma through a comprehensive food safety program. This includes permanent food establishments and temporary food service events.

Permanent food establishments

We issue permits and regularly inspect all UW permanent food facilities, restaurants, stores, cafeterias, mobile food facilities, and catering services to ensure they maintain the standards of safe food handling and cleanliness set forth in the Washington State Retail Food Code.  

Temporary food service events

Temporary event organizers are responsible for ensuring their food vendors are aware of our requirements.

Please visit the Temporary Food Service Permit webpage for more information on obtaining permits for your special events.

Dos and don'ts of safe food handling

This training video helps UW food workers keep our campus safe and healthy, and prevents the spread of foodborne illness. Food managers, student and classified employees at campus dining locations, as well as anyone who cooks or handles food (that’s you!), can benefit from these tips.

[This video includes sound]

Prevent foodborne illness

Pregnant women are 10 times more likely to get a Listeria infection

People with weak immune systems are at higher risk for food poisoning

Adults 65 and older are more likely to get seriously ill from food poisoning.

Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Food Safety webpage for more information.

Services available

EH&S provides the following services:

  • Food safety and sanitation inspections of food establishments, including food vendors at intercollegiate athletic events
  • Temporary food service permits for public events on campus
  • Regulatory compliance plan review, interpretation and recommendations for new and remodeled food service establishments, and pre-opening inspections
  • Food-related complaint investigation and follow-up

EH&S conducts more than 500 food service inspections each year, including the medical centers, athletic event concession stands, day care centers and restaurants across the three campuses, keeping University staff, faculty, students, patients and visitors safe from foodborne illnesses.

Food Establishment Plan Review

EH&S conducts food establishment plan reviews to ensure that the establishment meets state and federal regulations. All plans for new and remodeled food service establishments must be submitted to EH&S for review and approval. This applies to leased facilities, major equipment alterations, and mobile units, such as espresso carts.

Please also visit our Facilities Projects Support page for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

The EH&S Environmental Public Health Program inspects all temporary and permanent food service establishments on UW property, including restaurants, cafeterias, food stores, coffee shops, food trucks, concessions at athletic events, and catering kitchens.

We use a risk-based inspection system to inspect one to three times per year, depending on the complexity of food preparation and history of compliance.

The standards for all food establishments in Washington are set by the Washington State Retail Food Code and we ensure all temporary and permanent food establishments on UW property comply with the law.

More Information


Environmental Public Health Contact

(206) 616-1623