Food Safety and Licensing
What we do
Steps to obtain a license
A retail food license is required for any operation serving or selling food to the public. In order to get a license, a review of facility and food preparation plans is required. This includes the following types of food facilities and activities:
- Grocery store
- Convenience store
- Preparing food for online sales
- Mobile unit (food truck or push cart)
- Temporary special events (farmers market)
- Sale of pre-packaged foods, like pre-packaged frozen meat
Nearly every new or significantly altered facility serving or selling food or beverages in Colorado must submit plans to the local health department before a license can be issued.
Mesa County Public Health reviews plans for facilities in Mesa County to make sure that the design and equipment in a facility are suitable for the safe storage, preparation, and service of the foods on the proposed menu or food list.
Applications for a plan review differ, based on the type of food operation you are proposing. Click the links below for a downloadable application to meet your needs:
- Guide to Starting a New Food Business
- Fixed Location Plan Review — Restaurant, Grocery, Gas Station, etc.
- Mobile Unit Plan Review
The plan review application includes instructions for what must be included for review. Missing information will delay the plan review process. Information to include when submitting your plans:
- Plan review application forms.
- Menu or list of foods prepared on the premises.
- Chemical and Personal Storage Areas
- Floor Plan including all areas of the facility used for the storage, preparation, or service of food or drink, and areas used for other facility operations including storage of equipment, single-use items, and linens must be included with the floor plan.
- Lighting Plan
- Plumbing Schedule showing the location of all fixtures, floor drains, floor sinks, supply lines, drain lines, and backflow prevention devices. This also needs to include water heater location, make and model number, capacity, recovery rate, BTU or kW input.
- Site Plan - or layout of the building location with any outside equipment, including dumpsters, grease trap/interceptor, well, etc.
- Plumbing Schedule Showing the location of all fixtures, floor drains, floor sinks, supply lines, drain lines, and backflow prevention devices. This also needs to include water heater location, make and model number, capacity, recovery rate, BTU or kW input.
- Ventilation Schedule including exhaust capacity (CFM ratings) of all hoods, location of all hoods, and detailed shop drawings of all hoods (including length and width), and location of all make-up air registers, including CFM ratings for outside air.
- Equipment list showing make and model numbers. Specification sheets or spec sheets can be submitted in place of the equipment list.
- Copy of Food Protection Manager Certification of owner or person in charge.
- Copy of employee illness policy including clean-up procedures for vomit or diarrheal events.
- $100 Application Fee.
Note: Plans cannot be approved without submission of these items.
Allow two weeks for plan review.
The plan review application includes instructions for what must be included for review. Missing information will delay the plan review process.
Mesa County Public Health will notify you within two (2) weeks of receiving your application packet to inform you if your plans were approved or if more information or changes are needed.
- If your plans are approved, your next step to getting your license is to schedule a pre-operational or opening inspection 3-5 business days before the planned opening date.
- If your plans are not approved you will need to submit revised plans. Review of revised plans may take up to 14 additional business days.
- Approval of plans does not constitute acceptance of the completed structure. It also does not waive the responsibility of the owner or contractor to make necessary changes that may be required if the facility is not in compliance with the applicable requirements.
Letter of Approval
Construction of the facility may not begin until your plans have been approved by Mesa County Public Health and any other county or city permits have been obtained.
The letter will include any requirements and stipulations required prior to beginning construction work; be sure to notify others involved in the project, especially the construction manager, of these requirements and stipulations.
All required permits must be obtained before Mesa County Public Health can issue a retail food establishment license.
Planning, Zoning, Building, Fire, and Wastewater must be contacted too to best determine their involvement in your planning and business processes. If you are applying for a liquor license, please contact the local liquor licensing agency.
Paperwork and fees can be submitted in the following ways:
Mail completed paperwork plan review and payment (checks may be made out to Mesa County Public Health) to:
Mesa County Public Health
Attn: Environmental Health Program
PO Box 20,000-5033
Grand Junction, CO 81502
Bring the completed applications and paperwork with any applicable fees to our office:
Mesa County Public Health
2nd floor – Birth & Death Certificates Office
510 29 1/2 Road
Grand Junction, CO 81502
Email the completed paperwork to us. You will receive an invoice via email with a link to pay online.
Trying to pay an existing invoice?
Want to know what you should pay?
Special Events with food
If coordinating events involving food in Mesa County:
- Submit a Coordinator Plan Review 30 days prior to event.
- Provide Vendor Information List at least two weeks prior to event.
- Provide entry and parking passes the week of the event for inspectors.
- All vendors must submit a completed vendor application to Mesa County Public Health each year.
- Please allow two weeks for processing. Once you are approved you will receive a one-page Mesa County Approval letter which you will provide to each event coordinator.
Approved Temporary Event Vendors
View approved Event Vendors for the current year.