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HCAT Uniform Requirements

School of Hotel, Culinary Arts and Tourism Policies and Procedures for the Food Laboratories

When are Students Allowed in the Labs?

Students are only allowed in labs when they are scheduled for that specific lab class.

Culinary Lockers (for Hotel and Culinary students only)

Culinary lockers (in the changing room & basement) are available where coats, gym bags and backpacks should be stored while students are taking lab classes.  These lockers are for use by students taking classes for that day or evening.  Coats, gym bags, large toolboxes on wheels, and backpacks are not allowed in the labs. 

How it Works - Lockers are now being assigned. A new safety measure has been put in place as a means of controlling access and usage of the lockers on campus. Students wishing to have an assigned locker located on the ground floor of Elston Hall are to stop by the Student Affairs Office, room 222 Elston Hall. Students will need to sign an agreement for usage and a locker combination will be assigned for the term. Students may apply rent a locker on a first come first serve basis. The lockers are available at a rental fee of $10.00 per semester or $20.00 per year.


Uniform Requirements

From the American Culinary Federation and Division

The purpose of these uniform requirements is to be compliant with the Programmatic Standards for ACFEF Accredited Programs.

Students must adhere to the following uniform requirements and the uniform must be pressed, neat, and clean. If a student is not in proper uniform, he/she will not be allowed to participate in the practical part of the lab; he/she may watch. When leaving the labs, remove your aprons.

Approved White Chef Hat - The style must be consistent with the type sold in the SUNY Schenectady bookstore and worn in the natural style. There may be no writing or designs on it.  No do-rags, scarves, or knit hats are allowed. All the student’s hair should fit under the hat, both in the front and back. If the hair cannot be contained with the chef hat in the back of the head, hair nets will be available for purchase in the bookstore to contain excess hair. A white floppy chef toque is also acceptable. Neatly prepared braids and ponytails, worn close to the neck (not sticking out) in a sanitary and professional manner are acceptable.

White Chef Long-Sleeved Jacket - with the SUNY Schenectady embroidered logo on the jacket. It must be buttoned completely up to the top. SUNY Schenectady nametag or embroidered name on your uniform jacket required with your first name and last initial. No work or other school logo’s allowed on jackets. No other items on your jacket such as Walt Disney World Pins, American Flags, Peace Symbols, etc.

Traditional Black and White Checked Pants - with a white knee length apron and solid black, polish able, non-absorbent, non-slip, closed-toed shoes or clogs worn with black socks.  No sneakers are allowed.

Items NOT Approved - Wearing baseball caps; including students working as dishwashers. No pins, medals, or other items may be added to the uniform, unless approved by the Division. In the case of extenuating circumstances, the Division Dean, in consultation with the faculty member, will determine exceptions to these policies.


New students entering the program for the first time are required to use the new faculty approved Canadian Cutlery knife set that is now available in the SUNY Schenectady Bookstore. This knife set contains the required items needed to complete the degree program. The intent of the required knife set is for the students to be prepared for each class that they are enrolled in, and to have a quality set of knives so they can perform to their maximum potential.

Cut Gloves

Effective summer 2013, all Food Preparation 1 classes will require that all students enrolled in Hot 111 will be required to wear a cut glove on their non-knife holding hand (latex or vinyl glove to be worn tightly over the cut glove). The purpose of this new requirement is to comply with the ACF standards 5.4, 5.41, 5.6 and 5.8 of the 2012 ACF Re-accreditation Report. Upon completion of Hot 111, students who choose to use the cut glove in other courses may do so. The cut glove is available for purchase in the bookstore.


Smoking and the use of all tobacco products and all products that resemble tobacco are not allowed on campus. 

Student Hygiene and Appearance

Facial Hair - Should be neatly and closely trimmed or clean shaven. In the case of excessive facial hair, a beard hairnet must be worn.

Jewelry - A plain band is allowed. Watches, bracelets, necklaces, additional rings, earrings, nose rings, facial piercings, tongue piercing, or any piece of visible jewelry pierced on the student’s body are not allowed.

Nail polish or fake polished fingernails are prohibited.


Hand Washing - Students must wash their hands thoroughly:  efore starting class; after using the bathroom; when returning from a break; after handling raw meats and fish.  The key to great sanitation is hand washing.

Food Barrier - When preparing or handling any prepared food (example, salads, cooked meats or vegetable, vegetables for a dip) that will not receive further cooking, students must use a barrier between their bare hand and the finished product.  This can be plastic gloves or utensils.  If the procedures are not followed, the contaminated food that is touched by a bare hand will be thrown away.

Food and Beverages in the Labs - No food or beverages should be consumed near food being prepared. Water bottles must have squirt type caps.

Students are prohibited from sitting on tables used for preparing food.

Consuming Finished Products

At the completion of each lab course, the instructor MAY have you critique and sample the foods as part of the class experience.  The purpose will be to taste your product, not to provide a meal to the students.

Students in the baking concentration classes may be allowed to purchase finished products to consume outside of the lab.  Except for purchasing finished products, students are not allowed to take food from the labs. All leftover food products are donated to organizations of need approved by the School of Hotel, Culinary Arts and Tourism. In recent years, the Regional Food Bank, Schenectady YWCA, and the Schenectady City Mission have been the most frequent recipients of the donation of our products.

Because of time and budget constraints, students in HOT 238 Dining Room Operations and HOT 257 and 258 Classical Cuisine should not expect to sample the preparations.  Our goal is to provide a la carte meals to patrons of the Casola Dining Room.

Students in HOT 251 Quantitative Foods and HOT 253 Banquet Management will be provided a meal if they must work a banquet that goes beyond an hour of their scheduled ending class time.

Physical Requirements

This curriculum may require heavy lifting not to exceed 50 pounds and may require a student to spend long hours standing.  Classes are held in an area that has wide variations in temperature and noise.  If you feel you cannot meet these requirements, please contact the Division Dean to discuss alternatives to your curriculum and career.

Thank you for your adherence to these standards, which were developed and recommended by the Faculty, Advisory Committee and the American Culinary Federation.