The Environmental Health Department licenses and inspects over 250 retail food operations. This includes restaurants, mobile food service units, catering operations, schools, senior food programs, and camps. The staff also teaches classes in food safety basics, investigates suspected food-borne illnesses, and reviews plans for new operations.
For general food safety information, please visit the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment website.
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Food service establishments are routinely inspected by the Environmental Health staff. Restaurants are inspected on a risk-based inspection frequency. The risk of a facility is based on a variety of factors, including the number of meals served per week, the inherent risk in the types of foods served, an evaluation of facility operations and the types and numbers of violations observed during previous inspections. These factors are combined to determine if the facility will have one regular inspection per year, up to three regular inspections per year. An example of a facility that may be inspected once a year is a coffee shop. Most of the retail food establishments in Routt County have two regular inspections per year. Follow-up inspections in addition to the regular inspections are conducted at those establishments that have critical violations. Some examples of critical violations include food storage temperature and cooking temperature violations, improper toxic substance storage or usage, failure to properly sanitize food contact surfaces, poor hygienic practices and training need for the manager and kitchen staff.
Retail food establishments, including catering, temporary/special events, and mobile food service, are required to have a State of Colorado Retail Food Service license. For more information on this subject, visit our Open/Remodel a Restaurant page.