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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.
- Call the Environmental Health Division, (970) 874-2165, to report your concerns. The complaints can be made anonymously, and inspectors will promptly inquire and inspect the subject business. As much information as you know regarding your concerns must be made available to the Division so a complete investigation may be made. Please leave your name and number with the Division for follow-up; or
- Fill out and submit the online Restaurant Complaint Form.
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 2022. 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.
Temporary Event Food Service Application
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 to food
- People to food
- Equipment to food
- Food to Food
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:
- In a refrigerator, meat drippings from raw meat stored on a top shelf might drip onto cooked vegetables placed on lower shelf.
- Raw chicken placed on a grill touching a steak that is being cooked.
- People to Food
People can also be a source of cross-contamination to foods. Some examples are:
- Handling foods after using the toilet without first properly washing hands.
- Touching raw meats and then preparing vegetables without washing hands between tasks.
- Using an apron to wipe hands between handling different foods, or wiping a counter with a towel and then using it to dry hands.
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:
- Using unclean equipment, such as slicers, can openers, and utensils, to prepare food.
- Using a cutting board and the same knife when cutting different types of foods, such as cutting raw chicken followed by salad preparation.
- Storing a cooked product, such as a sauce, in an unsanitized container that previously stored raw meat.
Follow these steps to prevent cross-contamination and reduce hazards to food:
- Wash your hands thoroughly between handling different foods or after using the toilet.
- Wash and sanitize all equipment and utensils that come in contact with food.
- Avoid touching your face, skin, and hair or wiping your hands on cleaning cloths.
- Store foods properly by separating washed or prepared foods from unwashed or raw foods.
- Try preparing each type of food at different times, and then clean and sanitize food contact surfaces between each task