Colorado Food Code
Garfield County Consumer Protection Program
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.
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.
Consumer protection team
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
Retail food licensing information
Restaurants and mobile food trucks
NOTE: 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 - Submit Plan
Please submit the following:
- Completed Restaurant/Catering Plan Review Application or Mobile Unit Plan Review application
- $100.00 fee (make checks payable to 'Garfield County Treasurer')
- Equipment specification sheets
- Architectural plans
Garfield County Public Health
Attn: Consumer Protection
195 W. 14th Street, Suite A
Rifle, CO 81650
Attn: Consumer Protection
Step 2 - Plan review
The inspector reviews the plans and will contact you with questions.
CRS 25-4-1605(4) states that the health department shall respond to any plans submitted within 14 working days. Please be advised that does not mean the plans will be approved within 14 days.
Step 3 - Plan approval
The inspector will issue a plan approval letter to begin construction. This letter does not grant approval to open!
Step 4 - Pre-Operational Inspection
Once construction is complete, the inspector will schedule a pre-operational inspection. If there are no unresolved critical items at that time, approval to open will be granted pending:
- The submission of a retail food establishment license application (the application will be provided after passing inspection) and license fee is paid.
- Final approval from building authority and fire department is granted.
- All required sales tax licenses and permits have been obtained.
If you are planning to extensively remodel an existing retail food establishment, a plan review may be required. Please 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
Retail Food Licenses are specific to the owner and location, and are not transferable. A new license must be obtained by new ownership prior to operating.
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.
Please complete the RETAIL FOOD CHANGE OF OWNERSHIP packet and return to Garfield County consumer protection before ownership transfer. You will be contacted by an inspector regarding change of ownership.
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. Incomplete plans will not be accepted. Plans submitted late (less than 30 days prior to event) may not be approved due to time and will incur a $50 late fee if approved. Submission of application does not guarantee approval.
Food vendors please fill out the following application: Temporary Vendor Application at least 10 working days prior to your first event on the calendar year. Applications submitted late (less than 10 days prior to event) may not be approved due to time and will incur a $50 late fee if approved. DO NOT submit payment with application. You will be contacted once your application has been reviewed and notified of fee amounts due. Incomplete applications will not be accepted. Submission of application does not guarantee approval.
Event Coordinator Plan Reviews and Temporary Vendor Applications can be submitted via: Mail: Garfield County Public Health Attn: Consumer Protection 195 W. 14th Street, Suite A Rifle, CO 81650 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: (970) 625-4804 Attn: Consumer Protection
To report a suspected case of foodborne illness or unsanitary conditions in a food establishment in Garfield County, please call (970) 625-5200 ext. 8130 or email email@example.com. Please provide the following information:
• Your name and contact information
• Information about the suspected establishment or product information for manufactured products
• Information about your symptoms and medical care received, if applicable
• Other ill persons in your party and their contact information
Food safety recalls
U.S. Food and Drug Administration
Protecting and promoting your health