Changes to Special Event Permissions for Registered Student Organizations (RSOs)

April 9, 2024

The California Retail Food Code regulates food service for Non-Profit Charitable Organizations. This includes Registered Student Organizations (RSOsat UC Berkeley. The Code restricts organizations from holding more than four events per calendar year where food is served to the public and requires approval by a Local Enforcement AGENCY (LEA). As UC Berkeley’s LEA, the Office of Environment, Health & Safety (EH&S) is responsible for providing permits and performing inspections for campus events at which food is served to the public. 

Food Code Requirements for Community Events

Section 113728 - 113941 of the California Retail Food Codedefines a Community Event as a public gathering of civic, political, public, or educational nature, including state and county fairs, city festivals, circuses, and other public gatherings that is conducted for not more than 25 consecutive or nonconsecutive days in a 90-day period. Examples of Community Events at UC Berkeley have included: Caltopia, Calapalooza, Golden Bear Orientation, East Asian Union Night Market, Taste of Berkeley, Superb concerts, and other cultural events

In the interest of protecting public health at UC Berkeley, and in alignment with the California Retail Food Code, RSOs that wish to offer food to the public will be limited to four events per Academic Calendar year, and they shall only operate as part of a designated Community Event or Bake Sale.

New Procedures for RSOs Offering Food at Public Events

There are several new requirements. Review ALL the Event Permit Procedures Procedures, including information on required training and inspections.

Key points include:

  • Designated Community Events hosted by RSOs may only offer food to the public at no more than four events per Academic Calendar year beginning Summer 2024. 

  • Event Coordinators must obtain approval from EH&S to hold the event:

    • The Event Coordinator applies for an event permit from EH&S. 

      • The application is due at least 30 days prior to the event date(s). 

      • The Event Coordinator will provide a list of all participating RSOs in the event permit application.

    • After the Event Coordinator submits the initial permit application, the participating RSOs submit their own permit application for the event which will describe the food service details.

  • There are exceptions for Bake Sales and pre-packaged food. 

  • Community events will only be approved by EH&S, with input from the ASUC Executive Director. 

New Food Trucks Restrictions for Student-Sponsored Events

Food Trucks are currently not allowed to participate in events hosted by Registered Student Organizations until EH&S has implemented new food truck permit request procedures and inspection requirements. 

Questions about these new procedures should be submitted through the Food Trucks at Student-Sponsored Events form