Retail Food Regulations & Enforcement Process
Changes to Retail Food Establishment Inspection & Enforcement Process
Effective January 1, 2020, there will be changes to Colorado’s retail food establishment inspection and enforcement process, as enacted in House Bill 19-1014. A summary of key changes and support available for retail food establishments is provided below.
- Inspections will now be based on a point system.
- Violations which are more critical in nature, i.e. those which contribute most directly to food-borne illness or injury, will have the highest point values.
- Violations will also be ranked on a low, medium or high severity/prevalence scale of the observed conditions during an inspection.
- The more severe and prevalent the violation, the higher the point value.
- The total points of an inspection will determine one of the following results: “Pass,” “Re-Inspection,” or “Imminent Hazard/Fail”.
- Closure of an establishment, i.e. “Imminent Hazard/Fail” result, could occur from a high point value, conditions which meet the definition of imminent health hazard (below) or multiple inspections which don’t “Pass”.
- The definition of an "imminent health hazard” has been clarified.
- Imminent health hazards include: fire, flood, extended interruption of electricity or water, sewage backup, misuse of toxic/poisonous materials, onset of a foodborne illness, grossly unsanitary conditions or other circumstance that may endanger public health.
- A retail food establishment which does not “Pass” four consecutive (or four out of five) inspections will be closed for up to three days and is subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $1,000.
- The minimum amount for a civil penalty has been removed and the maximum amount as $1,000 for inspection violations has been established.
- The bill clarifies that it is against the law to continue to operate a retail food establishment after its license or certificate of license is suspended.
- If an establishment is closed due to an imminent health hazard, JCPH must approve it to reopen.
These changes are being made to ensure food provided to the public at retail food establishments is safe and to prevent foodborne illnesses in Colorado.
There are more than 2,000 retail food establishments in Jefferson County, Colorado. At JCPH, ensuring food safety is a top priority. Our routine inspections protect the public's health by assuring that foods sold and served in Jefferson County are as safe as they can be, and that food service establishments comply with state laws and regulations.
These inspections also help protect retail food establishment owners. For instance, when potential problems are identified quickly, they can be addressed so that the business can continue to operate safely. We also use inspections as an opportunity to educate owners/managers about important health and safety issues and how to prevent them.
We understand this is a significant change, and we aim to be a resource for all Jefferson County retail food establishments to make this an easy transition.
- We are offering one-on-one meetings with our Retail Food Establishment Specialists by request. To request a one-on-one meeting or for any other questions, please call us at 303-232-6301.
- We will also host an open house training on October 14, 2019. Please see the invitation below for more information.
New Retail Food Establishment Regulations: Effective 2019
Colorado has incorporated the 2013 FDA Food Code by reference as the revised Colorado Retail Food Establishment Rules and Regulations, which is effective as of January 1, 2019.
Some of the major changes for retail food establishments are:
- Required certified food protection managers
- Proper date marking of ready to eat foods that must be maintained cold for safety
- Procedures in place for the proper cleanup of vomiting and diarrheal events
- Handwashing signs at all handwashing sinks used by employees
Visit the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment FDA Food Code Transition website for additional information, including documents and guidance.
Food Code Training Video
This following video provides an overview of the major changes to the food code that took place in 2019 and how it affects your retail food establishment. All documents and links from the video are available below.
Important Food Code Documents
- 10 Food Code Questions
- 10 Major Changes CDPHE Presentation
- Certified Food Protection Management Guidance
- Certified Food Protection Management Guidelines (Spanish)
- Date Marking Guidance
- Date Marking Guidance (Spanish)
- Example Retail Food Inspection Report
- Food Code Training Presentation
- Vomit and Diarrheal Guidance
- Vomit and Diarrheal Guidance (Spanish)