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.
Temporary or Special Events
Thinking of having a booth at Applefest? Pickin' in the Park? Deltarado Days? If you want to serve food at a festival, fair, or fund-raising event, you are required to obtain a Retail Food Establishment License (in most cases.) Your facilities for preparing, storing, and serving food must meet the requirements of the Colorado State Retail Food Establishment Regulations.
As described in Group Gathering Areas 6 CCR 1010-10, "Food service activities, not required to have a restaurant license under Article 44 of Title 12, CRS 1972, shall conduct food service operations in conformance to the physical and operational requirements of the Colorado Restaurant Sanitation Laws, Rules and Regulations."
To provide food at a "special" or "temporary" event in Delta County, all vendors must hold a Mobile Unit retail food license OR obtain a Temporary Event Food Service license (i.e. tent/table setup). Delta County WILL recognize Temporary Event Food Service Licensees and Mobile Unit Licensees from other counties. This is a ONE-TIME permit for events in 2021. Restaurants, grocery deli's, etc...will still need to apply for a Temporary permit as they have not already been licensed for "off-premises" or "mobile" operations. If your organization is a non-profit, please contact us to obtain a non-profit retail food license.
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.
If you are planning to sell your "Cottage Foods" at these events, please make sure it meets the definition on the flyer; if it doesn't, you must get a retail food license. If you are planning to participate in events in other counties, please contact the respective county's health department food safety program. Note: Garfield County recognizes Temporary Event Food Service licensees of Delta.
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
- Quick Reference Resources
- Licensing Requirements
- Food Handler Training
- Food Production & Cottage Food
What do I do if I want to operate a restaurant, grocery store, or another 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 purposes 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; the 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 (call 970-874-2165 to pay over the phone or we can invoice you if preferred). 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. Click on https://www.statefoodsafety.com/food-handler to complete the food HANDLER training if you are working in a food service role, or are preparing foods as part of a cottage food business at home. Food handlers cards are highly recommended and will be noted during inspections.
Colorado requires that AT LEAST ONE PERSON complete the Certified Food Protection MANAGER training for all full-service restaurants, mobile food trucks, and licensed grocery stores with a deli. If you are interested in completing that training for your position, the following websites 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".
Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions, or call 970-874-2165.
If you are interested in preparing food for human consumption (Manufactured Food for wholesale-to-retail), it must be made in a licensed inspected commercial kitchen (or a "Commissary"). Food may not be prepared in a home kitchen for sale to the public unless it is a "Cottage Food". 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. Click on the link below for the Manufactured Food application and submit to the program staff listed on the application:
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. Click on https://www.statefoodsafety.com/food-handler to complete the food HANDLER training if you are working in a food service role, or are preparing foods as part of a cottage food business at home. Food handlers cards are highly recommended and will be noted during inspections.
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 through www.statefoodsafety.com. After successful completion of the course, a food handlers card is issued, good for three years.
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.