Retail Food Establishments

Retail food establishments are required to be licensed in Colorado in accordance with Colorado Revised Statutes 25-4-1610 (1) (b). Licenses are associated with the current ownership, location, and Colorado Sales Tax License.

El Paso County Public Health licenses and inspects facilities such as, but not limited to, restaurants, mobile food trucks, coffee kiosks, cafeterias, convenience stores/gas stations, drug stores, grocery stores, bars, hotels, assisted and independent living facilities and special events.

Notices

  • Public walk-in Plan Review hours are now available Mondays and Thursdays from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. located at the Pikes Peak Regional Building Department.

  • All Retail Food applications are now available online for electronic submission.

Effective Feb. 12, 2024, Plan Review Office Hours:

Monday & Thursday 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Pikes Peak Regional Building Department
2880 International Cir
Colorado Springs, CO 80910

a commercial kitchen with lots of pots and pans

Submit an Application or Pay an Invoice

If you choose not to submit an application online, completed applications can be emailed to HealthInfo@elpasoco.com, mailed or delivered to the Environmental Health Office.

To pay your invoice online, please note that you must create an account and search for your provided invoice number. Your invoice is not automatically on your account. Incomplete applications will not be accepted. Please contact Environmental Health at: (719) 578-3199 option 3 with any questions.

Permit Partner

Permit Partner is a tool for business owners that helps with estimating the cost of potential permits, applications, inspections, and licenses for new and expanding businesses, special events and zoning requirements.

View Inspection Reports

Inspection reports are available for the following programs: Retail Food Establishments, Body Art, Childcare, Schools, Waste Tire, and Recreational Water.

Inspection reports are searchable by facility name and address. Reports can be filtered by date range, program type and for Retail Food inspections you can also filter by the result.

an empty restaurant with tables and chairs

To open a previously licensed retail food establishment:

An application for a license may be considered without a plan review for an existing retail food establishment if you are planning to purchase, or have already purchased, an existing/previously existing food service operation and are not making any changes to the establishment or equipment. When purchasing an existing/previously existing retail food establishment, the proposed licensee is required to bring the facility up to current building codes and retail food establishment regulations.

Brick & Mortar: New or Remodel

Open a new retail food establishment or extensive remodel:

Any new construction or extensive remodel on a fixed location will require completion of the Plan Review process prior to construction.

Extensive remodels include, but are not limited to:

  • Changes or alterations to non-public areas that result in reduction or increase of total space by 25 percent or more.
  • Increasing seating capacity by 15 seats, or 20 percent (whichever is greater).
  • Capabilities to handle food, equipment, or utensils in a sanitary manner have been diminished due to a food process, or menu change, that introduces new foodborne illness risks.

Minor remodels include, but are not limited to:

  • Existing plumbing fixtures (i.e. 3-compartment sink, hand sink, prep sink, dish machine) are relocated.
  • Replacing or adding equipment.
  • Construction is being conducted without a building permit (i.e. lighting changes, finish changes).
  • Replacing a water heater (standard tank-type or instantaneous).

Site Review of Potential Retail Food Establishments

  • If you are considering a site for your new Retail Food Establishment that has not been previously licensed.

Mobile Units

Open a Mobile Unit

A plan review will be required for all new mobile units that have not been previously licensed in El Paso County. If you have purchased a mobile unit that has been previously licensed in El Paso County, you will complete a Mobile Unit Change of Ownership Application.

Change of Ownership

An application for a license may be considered without a plan review for a mobile unit if you are planning to purchase, or have already purchased, a previously licensed mobile unit in El Paso County, and are not making any changes to the unit or equipment. When purchasing an existing/previously existing mobile unit, the proposed licensee is required to bring the unit up to codes and retail food establishment regulations.

Operate at a retail food special event:

All special event food vendors who wish to operate in El Paso County must have a valid El Paso County Public Health Special Event License. A “Special event” means an organized event or celebration at which retail food establishments prepare, serve or otherwise provide food for human consumption.

For those vendors who wish to obtain licensing through El Paso County Public Health, applications will be reviewed by the Environmental Health Division, and to promote public health and prevent foodborne illness, the division will provide training and educational services. Under this program, the division will also respond to complaints received from the public.

a turquoise food truck on a yellow background