Consumer Food Safety
What should I do if I have concerns about a restaurant or grocery store? Or if someone appears to be unlawfully selling a food item?
- Contact the food service establishment and advise them of your concerns.
What Should I Do if I Got Sick After Eating Out?
If you are severely ill or if your symptoms persist, you should contact your physician. In most cases, medical tests must be conducted to confirm the specific cause of the food-borne illness. Contact the food service establishment and advise them of your concerns.
Most restaurants will have a Disclosure or Food Advisory of some sort on their menu. It will usually look like:
*These items are cooked to order. Consuming raw or undercooked foods can increase your likelihood of foodborne illness, especially if you have underlying medical conditions.
There should be an asterisk (*) or some indicator of the menu items that could be served raw or undercooked (burgers, eggs), or which have the potential for foodborne illness or allergy risk (fish, dairy, etc).
Contact Delta County Health Department, (970) 874-2165, to file a complaint, or fill out the Restaurant Complaint Form and return it to the Environmental Health Division, 255 West 6th Street, Delta, Colorado 81416. The staff will request information detailing with what foods were eaten, when they were eaten, when the symptoms started, if others are ill with similar symptoms, and a 72-hour meal history.
If you want to serve food at a festival, fair, or fund-raising event, you are required to obtain a Retail Food Establishment License. Your facilities for preparing, storing and serving food must meet the requirements of the Colorado State Retail Food Establishment Regulations.
You must fill out and submit an Application for a Temporary Food Service Establishment to the Health Department at 255 West 6th Street, Delta, Colorado 81416.
Tax-exempt and charitable organizations are exempt from licensing if they serve food on less than 52 consecutive days in any given year within the county in which the organization is located.
Preventing cross-contamination is one step to help eliminate food- borne illness. Cross-contamination of food is a common factor in the cause of foodborne illness. Foods can become contaminated by microorganisms (bacteria and viruses) from many different sources during the food preparation and storage process.
Cross-contamination is the contamination of a food product from another source. There are three main ways cross-contamination can occur:
Food can become contaminated by bacteria from other foods. This type of cross-contamination is especially dangerous if raw foods come into contact with cooked foods. Here are some examples of food-to-food cross-contamination:
People can also be a source of cross-contamination to foods. Some examples are:
Equipment to Food
Contamination can also be passed from kitchen equipment and utensils to food. This type of contamination occurs because the equipment or utensils were not properly cleaned and sanitized between each use. Some examples are:
Follow these steps to prevent cross-contamination and reduce hazards to food:
Industry Food Safety Resources
Dates of current online training are in the calendar below. Additional training options are provided in the links below the calendar (under "Food Handler Training").
Classes begin next week March 29th! (see calendar below).
Click here to register: http://bit.ly/DeltaFoodBasics
- Quick Reference Resources
- Licensing Requirements
- Food Handler Training
- Food Production
- Wholesale Production
What do I do if I want to operate a restaurant, grocery store, or other food outlet?
If you are interested in starting a food service establishment in Delta County, you should contact the Delta County Environmental Health Division, (970) 874-2165 for assistance. All food service facilities selling, serving and preparing food to require a State of Colorado Retail Food Establishment License. The county and state require licensure prior to operating; starting operations without a license comes with a hefty fine ($1000.00)~ so give us a call BEFORE you begin operations! All facilities being used for such purpose must be inspected and approved by Delta County Environmental Health prior to operation. After completing the plan review application and the "opening" inspection, you will receive an application for a license.If you plan to operate a mobile unit, you'll need to submit a set of plans and specifications; plan review fee is $100.00. Turn around is usually 5-7 days; please submit a menu with the application. Click here for the Mobile application.
If the new food establishment involves any type of construction, a set of plans and specifications must be submitted to the Health Department for review and approval before construction begins. Click here for a
What do I do if I want to purchase an existing restaurant, grocery store, or other foodservice facility?
If you are interested in purchasing an existing food service operation in Delta County, you should contact the Delta County Environmental Health Division, (970) 874-2165, for information regarding previous inspections.You can request a change of ownership inspection which will provide detailed information outlining any changes or remodeling that may be required to bring the facility into compliance with Colorado State Retail Food Establishment Regulations. Since the Regulations have changed over the years, even a restaurant that is currently operating may not meet the current regulations. When there is a change of ownership or any extensive remodeling, the owner will be required to bring the facility into compliance with the current Regulations.
What fees may be assessed?The cost of the plan review is $100, due upon submission of the plans and specifications. In the event of an extensive review process, review time in excess of two hours will be billed at the hourly rate of $50 per hour.
The cost of additional services, i.e. a walk-through inspection, is charged at the rate of $50 per hour.
Food Handler Training Options
The foodservice industry offers a wide variety of occupations ranging from restaurants, school cafeterias, mobile food units, and cottage foods. There are several options for you to consider when improving your food-handling skills. The following web sites are approved for training purposes:
www.StateFoodSafety.com is a self-navigating course for food handlers/workers and food service managers. Please keep in mind that every food service establishment MUST have at least one (1) trained food "manager". Food handlers cards are highly recommended and will be noted during inspections.
Email email@example.com if you have questions, or call 970-874-2165.
Food Basics Classes will be held in March....see the calendar above and Description:Click here to register: http://bit.ly/DeltaFoodBasics
If you are interested in preparing food for human consumption, it must be made in a licensed inspected commercial kitchen (or "Commissary"). Food may not be prepared in a home kitchen for sale to the public. The Colorado Food Manufacturing Regulations must be followed for such a facility. Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment keeps a list of approved sources of food for use in retail food establishments
Food that is warehoused and stored for human consumption must be kept under sanitary conditions. Inspectors make routine inspections of these facilities. All food packaged for sale must be labeled in accordance with the Colorado Labeling Guidelines, and if the food is shipped interstate, it must meet the Food And Drug Administration labeling regulations.
If you are interested in receiving more training in food safety, either to comply with the Cottage Food regulation, or for training in the food service industry, the Delta County Health Department offers a self-paced food handlers class for $10.00. This involves a pre- and post-test, and a booklet that follows along with the DVD. After successful completion of the course, a food handlers card is issued, good for two years. The following links may also be helpful:
Wholesale Food Manufacturing and Distribution
The system is intended to rate routine or re-inspections only. Each observed violation is assigned a value based on risk and the total point value is then applied. Some violations have only one possible point value. Other violations may be assessed a higher or lower point value based on the prevalence of the observed conditions (usually between 0-25 points per item in 5 point increments). For example, inspection item #9 reads "No bare hand contact with ready-to-eat food or a pre-approved alternative procedure properly allowed" can be assigned a LOW value of 0, MEDIUM value of 15, or a HIGH value of 25 points.
The inspection rating is determined by adding the point value assessed for each item found OUT of compliance. The sum of the points is then compared to the schedule below to determine the rating.
Pass: The risk index is below 50 points.
Re-inspect: The risk index is 50-109 points.
Closed: The risk index is 110 or above.
For more information on the retail food Inspection and Enforcement process, click here.