The Colorado Department of Health & Environment has adopted the 2013 FDA Food Code,. The Food Code will replace Colorado's current Rules and Regulations and will be effective in January 1, 2019.  The change will effect restaurants, delis, cafeterias grocery stores and other retail food establishments. Numerous sections of the FDA Food Code are incorporated in Colorado’s current food safety regulations so establishments should not see a great deal of new requirements. However there are several changes that will impact currently operating establishments.  Some of the changes include:

  • Date marking procedures would be required for all food service operations. Date marking is currently only required in Colorado for establishments that serve food to highly susceptible populations such as health care facilities and schools. Refrigerated, ready-to-eat potentially hazardous foods prepared and held in the establishment for more than 24 hours will be required to be clearly marked to indicate the date by which the food is to be consumed, sold, or discarded. These foods must then be consumed, sold, or discarded within 7 days. This requirement is to help control the growth of deadly Listeria bacteria.
  • Establishments will be required to have at least one employee, with supervisory and management responsibilities, that holds a current food protection manager certification. Studies have shown establishments with certified managers have fewer food safety violations.
  • Establishments must have procedures for employees to follow when responding to vomiting or diarrheal events within the establishment. Illness outbreaks have been documented when proper clean up procedures were not followed.
  • Facilities with high temperature dish machines will need to have means to check the final rinse temperature using a heat tape thermometer or a maximum registering thermometer. Actively managing ware washing equipment can reduce violations associated with inadequate sanitization.
  • A sign or poster that notifies food employees to wash their hands will need to be displayed at all hand washing sinks. Signage is intended to improve the frequency of hand washing.
  • The term “Potentially Hazardous Food” will be replaced with "Time and Temperature Control for Safety Food." 
  • The terms critical item, and non-critical item will be replaced with priority, priority foundation, and core items.  In most cases priority and priority foundation items are currently called critical items and core item are non-critical items.