Sanitation, Kitchen Use & Food Permits

  • Sanitation Tips

    • Thoroughly wash hands before preparing or serving food
    • Cool hot foods to less than 40°F within 2 to 4 hours
    • Cook hot foods to 165°F
    • Hold hot foods at 135°F or more
    • Hold cold foods at 41°F or less
    • Handle and serve food only in a clean and safe environment
    • Wear plastic gloves when preparing and serving foods
    • Sanitize all preparation areas by washing surfaces and sanitizing with bleach water
  • How do I reserve an SPS kitchen?

    Please start this process three or more weeks prior to the date you would like to use the kitchen.

    1. If you are preparing and/or serving food, you will also need a Nutrition Services employee present who must be scheduled at this time.
    2. Contact Event Services at to reserve the use of the kitchen.
    3. Once approved, Nutrition Services will contact you to discuss the menu, procedures and equipment usage.
    4. Please note:
      • Small children are not allowed in the kitchen area.
      • The group is responsible for leaving the kitchen completely clean and in order.
      • Senior all-nighters and activity support groups must also seek approval.

    Will I be charged for using the kitchen?

    Yes, if an employee is present. The labor charge will be based on the current pay scale including benefits (approximately $46/hr). There will be an additional charge for weekends and holidays.

    Do I need a permit to serve food & hold an event?

    A Spokane Regional Health District (SRHD) permit is required for:

    • Public functions serving foods other than low-risk food items. (ex. sporting event concessions, public PTA or school events)

    You can get a food permit and view regulations by visiting the Spokane Regional Health District Food Permits page.

    A SRHD permit is not required for:

    • Non-public functions (ex. soccer team lunch, public not invited)
    • Public events serving only low-risk food items, such as pre-packaged chips, candies and canned soda. No use of kitchen facilities.

    If you aren't sure, please call Nutrition Services at 509.354.7270 and we will be glad to assist you.

    If I have a food handler card, does that mean I can sell and serve food items? 

    No. Procedure 6700 and the SRHD require food sales to comply with district and state rules. Selling to the public or charging for food requires a food permit from the SRHD, which is different than a food handler card.

    Can I just hire a caterer?

    Yes. Use a private caterer that has a permit with the SRHD to serve food away from their kitchen.

    Can I bring and/or store my own homemade food?

    To maintain compliance with Spokane Regional Health District sanitation requirements:

    • No home-prepared food items or personal food storage is allowed in the kitchen area.
    • Foods brought into the kitchen must be from an approved retail/wholesale source.
    • All food items must be in the original containers.
    • Use of kitchen space in refrigerators and/or freezers must be approved by kitchen manager. Food items are not to interfere with the everyday operation of the kitchen or create safety concerns. These food items will only be stored for a short period of time.
washing hands