Food Safety

We help protect you from foodborne illness by inspecting retail food establishments, providing education about proper food handling, and food product recalls.

We prevent foodborne illness in El Paso County’s retail food establishments through regulatory and educational efforts. El Paso County has more than 2,700 licensed establishments or vendors that provide food to the public — including restaurants, caterers, grocery stores, convenience stores, school kitchens, and mobile vehicle vendors.

Public Health’s Environmental Health Specialists routinely inspect facilities to assure compliance with food safety regulations and educate food handlers, investigate consumer complaints, and assist with foodborne outbreak investigations. In addition, Public Health issues licenses to retail food establishments and conducts thorough reviews of plans for new and remodeled facilities.

Food safety classes are offered in English and Spanish languages.

a person is cooking food in a pan on a stove

Food Safety Resources

Colorado Cottage Foods Act

In 2012, the Colorado Legislature enacted Senate Bill 12-048 allowing individuals to produce, sell and store certain types of “cottage food” products in an unlicensed home kitchen. Cottage food products include such items as spices, teas, dehydrated produce, nuts, seeds, honey, candies, jams, jellies and certain non-potentially hazardous baked goods. Cottage food operations are subject to the requirements of Senate Bill 12-048, but require no license or permit from El Paso County Public Health or from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, and are not inspected by any state or local government entity.

The Food Safety Advisory Group (FSAG) was organized to allow for information sharing between public health and industry; will serve as an avenue for organizing local food safety training, providing input on proposed policy, assuring consistency in regulation interpretation by Public Health, and will work together to continue to improve the Food Safety Program.

Meetings are held quarterly at the Public Health offices in the Citizens Service Center located at 1675 W. Garden of the Gods Road. For more information, contact Sammi Jo Lawson, Retail Food Program Manager by e-mail at