School Concession Stands: Operations - EH: Minnesota Department of Health

School Concession Stands - Operations
Safe Food is Good Business

PDF version of this Web page formatted for print:
School Concession Stands - Operations (PDF: 62KB/1 pages)

On this page:
Menu/Process Categories
Equipment & Structural Requirements
General Health & Sanitation Guidelines:

Menu/Process Categories

A majority of school concession menus fall into one of the first two of three menu categories described below:

  • Pre-Packaged Foods:

Items include pre-packaged foods that require no heating, and are served from their original packaging/container. Examples: bottled/canned beverages, pre-packed chips, candy and frozen novelties.

  • Pre-Cooked, Ready-to-Eat Food:

Items include the above listed pre-packaged foods, plus foods that that require some heating, or minimal handling. No on-site food preparation or cooking is permitted (e.g., onion chopping, lettuce washing, or pizza topping prep). Examples: hot dogs/sausages (hot dog roller); pizza (pizza oven); popcorn (popper); and hot beverages such as coffee/hot chocolate.

  • Complex Food Service: 

Items may include the above, plus items that require on-site preparation. Examples include: hamburgers, sandwiches, walking tacos, and barbecue.
If you are unsure of your menu category consult your regulatory agency.

Go to > top

Equipment & Structural Requirements

Equipment and structural requirements increase with complexity of the menu offered. Any concession serving items other than prepackaged, non-heated foods (i.e., canned beverages, chip, etc.) must have approved equipment appropriate to the menu. Specific equipment needs and facility requirements can be found in the Minnesota Food Code or by consulting your regulatory agency.

Go to > top

General Health & Sanitation Guidelines:


  • A handwashing sink that is hard plumbed or a portable, self contained unit must be provided
  • Soap, a nailbrush and paper towels must be available at the handsink
  • All employees must wash hands as needed throughout the event

Go to > top

Certified Food Manager/Person in charge:

The proposed menu may require a Certified Food Manager to oversee operations, and train others to be the person in charge throughout hours of operation. A person in charge should be present during all hours of operation and should coordinate all food service and ensure safety of products served.

Go to > top

Employee Illness:

No ill volunteers/employees with vomiting and/or diarrhea are permitted in the food service area.

Go to > top

Food Safety:

  • Cook foods to proper temperatures:  chicken – 165° F; beef – 155° F
  • All hot food must be kept at 140° F or above
  • All cold foods must be kept at 41° F or below
  • Food Sources:
  • Food cannot be stored or prepared in a private home
  • All food, beverages and ice must be obtained from an approved commercial source
  • Any food preparation or storage done off-site, must be done at a licensed food establishment

NOTE: Home-prepared food may never be offered to the public in a licensed establishment.

Go to > top


  • Clean and sanitize all counters and equipment before and after use
  • Clean floors after each event (or at the end of the day for events lasting more than one day)
  • Cleaning & Sanitizing Serving Utensils:
  • Provide an approved three compartment sink at the concession stand; 
  • Make arrangements with the school to have utensils properly cleaned and sanitized; or
  • Use only single use, disposable eating and serving utensils.

Go to > top

Updated Tuesday, April 30, 2013 at 04:45PM