Foodborne illness is a widespread and costly public health problem. Foodborne illness refers to any disease caused by consuming a food or beverage that is contaminated with a bacteria, virus, parasite, chemical, or toxins. The typical symptoms of foodborne illness include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps, and fever. In very rare cases, more severe side effects can result, such as nerve damage, kidney damage, miscarriage, and death.
Young children and the elderly are more at risk for developing serious side effects, but young, healthy adults are also susceptible. It is estimated that one in six Americans will get foodborne illness each year, and thousands more will be hospitalized. As many as 3,000 deaths are attributed to foodborne illness in the U.S. annually, which can be prevented by proper food safety principles being applied in homes and food service operations. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that reducing foodborne illness by just ten percent would prevent five million Americans from getting sick each year.
Garfield County's consumer protection program is responsible for inspecting child care facilities and retail food establishments. The mission is to prevent the transmission of foodborne and communicable diseases through education and enforcement of applicable Colorado regulations.
What the consumer protection team does:
• Licenses and inspects retail food establishments, which includes restaurants, grocery stores, bars, convenience stores, school kitchens, and food trucks - there are over 300 and counting in Garfield County
• Inspects temporary events where food is served, such as the Garfield County Fair, festivals, and farmer's markets
• Enforces the Colorado Retail Food Establishment Rules and Regulations
• Assists in foodborne illness outbreak investigations
• Conducts plan reviews, inspections, and approval of all new or extensively remodeled food establishments
• Provides food safety education classes for restaurant workers
• Investigates complaints of suspected foodborne illness and unsanitary conditions in retail food establishments
• Inspects child care facilities for proper sanitation
| Restaurant inspections
Restaurant inspections are unannounced, and typically last about 90 minutes. During that time, the inspector observes the food handling and sanitation practices of the workers, as well as the physical conditions of the facility and equipment. If problems are identified, the first course of action is to correct the issues at the time of the inspection.
In very rare situations, serious problems that are left uncorrected may result in fines and/or closures.
The routine inspection frequency of a food establishment varies based on risk and depends on the menu, number of meals served, and inspection history. Most full-service restaurants are inspected twice a year. Focusing time on higher-risk establishments allows for limited resources to be maximized.
To operate a restaurant or mobile food truck in Garfield County, you must become licensed as a retail food establishment to sell food to the public.
| | Step 1 - Application
If you are planning to open a food establishment, please submit the following:
Please note that plans will not be reviewed until a completed application, along with the $100 plan review fee, has been received by Garfield County.
Step 2 - Plan review and approval
Your plans will be reviewed and you will receive confirmation regarding the status of your application within 10 business days. Plans that are incomplete will delay this process. You will be invoiced for additional time spent if plan review exceeds one hour.
Step 3 - Pre-operational Inspection
Please allow up to 14 days for plans to be reviewed and rejected or approved. Plans must be in compliance with the Colorado Retail Food Establishment Rules and Regulations before they will be approved.
Incomplete applications will delay the approval process.Â Once your plans have been approved by Garfield County and the local fire and building departments, construction can begin.
construction is complete and all equipment is installed
and running, please call to schedule a pre-operational
inspection. This must be at least three weeks before
your anticipated opening date. If a follow-up to the
pre-operational inspection is required, an additional
$75 fee will be charged.
Step 4 - Retail Food License Application
Once you have been approved to open to the public, please fill out and submit the Retail Food Establishment License Application along with the applicable license fee. Do not pay the license fee until your plans have been approved. You will receive your license within approximately 10 business days from when the payment is processed. Incomplete applications will delay the approval process.
If you are planning to extensively remodel an
existing retail food establishment, a plan review may be required.
Please also keep in mind that you will be required to comply with up
to date retail food, building, and plumbing codes.
Extensive remodeling includes:
Increasing seating capacity by 15 seats
or 20%, whichever is greater
• Alterations to non-public spaces that
result in an increase or decrease of total space by 25% or more
• Changes to the menu or additional of a
new food process that increases the risk of foodborne illness
Application and fee information
Please send all applications to:
Garfield County Environmental Health
195 W. 14th Street Rifle, CO 81650
Make checks payable to: Garfield County Treasurer
Mail payments to: Garfield County Public Health Attn: Nettie Mojarro
195 W. 14th Street Rifle, CO 81650
Licensing and change of ownership
Retail Food Licenses are specific to the owner and location, and are not transferrable. If a change of ownership is occurring mid-year, the new owner is responsible for obtaining a new license at full cost; licenses are not prorated. All licenses expire on December 31 of each year. If you are making significant changes to the facility, menu, or equipment, a plan review is required.
Licenses must be posted in a conspicuous place in the establishment or mobile unit at all times.
If you are planning a special event with food in Garfield County, please submit the event coordinator plan review application at least 30 days prior to your event.
If you would like to be a food vendor at a temporary event located in Garfield County, please refer to the vendor flow chart to determine what you will need to submit to the department for approval. Please allow two weeks for your application to be processed. Incomplete applications will delay the approval process.
You will receive an approval letter to provide to the event coordinator once your application has been approved.
Please fill out one of the following applications:
• Temporary Vendor application
• Non-profit Vendor application
Food safety classes
Garfield County hosts quarterly food safety classes for restaurant workers throughout the county in English and Spanish. The next class will be:
Monday, April 3, 2017
English session: 9:00-11:30 am
Spanish session: 1:00-3:30 pm
Glenwood Springs Branch Library
815 Cooper Avenue
Glenwood Springs, CO 81601
An online food handler class is $10 per person.
Make sure to select 'Colorado' and 'Garfield County' for the correct course.
Food safety recalls