Retail food frequently requested information

If you suspect restaurant food made you sick
Reporting illnesses to your local health department helps to identify potential foodborne disease outbreaks. By investigating foodborne disease outbreaks, public health officials learn about possible problems in food production, distribution and preparation that may cause illness.
If you believe you or someone you know became ill from eating a certain food or at a restaurant in Alamosa, Conejos, Costilla, Mineral, Rio Grande, Saguache, Garfield, Grand, Jackson and Moffat counties, please call:
If the restaurant is in a county not listed above, contact your local health department.

In my kitchen at home, to what temperature should I cook my food? 

A uniform temperature of 135° F or above, except for the following: 

  • All poultry, poultry stuffing, stuffed meats and stuffing containing meats: 165°F
  • Ground beef and other ground meats such as fish, pork and game meats: 155°F 
  • Eggs, pork, lamb, fish, and game animals: 145°F
  • Beef steaks: any internal temperature with a surface temperature of 145°F

Licensed Retail Food Establishments have additional parameters for cooking temperatures.  Refer to the Colorado Retail Food Regulations (6 CCR 1010-2)  for specific cooking requirements.  


My electricity has been out overnight. Is the food in my refrigerator/freezer still safe to eat?  
A typical refrigerator will keep foods cold for about four hours if left unopened. A full freezer will hold the temperature of its contents for approximately 48 hours if the door remains closed. Foods that are potentially hazardous (any foods containing meat, poultry, pork, or other protein, milk or milk products, fish, etc.) that have reached a temperature above 41°F for more than four hours should not be consumed. 


How long can I leave my groceries in the car after I shop? 
Potentially hazardous food should not be held out of the refrigerator for more than four hours. Groceries should be taken home and put away as soon as possible after shopping.


What temperature should potentially hazardous (those foods needing refrigeration) be held?
Foods that contain meat, poultry, pork or other proteins, milk and milk products, fish, etc., should be kept at 41°F or less, or at 135°F or above. It is recommended that refrigerators be set at 40°F or below.