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Colorado State University Extension operates in partnership with the El Paso County Community Services Division to provide non-credit programming to local citizens.

Cottage FoodsCSU Extension Cottage Food Safety Training

This 2-1/2 hour food safety training that provides a 3-year certification and meets the food safety training requirement for Colorado Cottage Foods Act established and supported by the Colorado State Dept. of Health & Environment.

Participants learn food safety guidelines and the specifics for operating a small home based cottage food business from a home kitchen. Learn about the most current Colorado Cottage Food Act.

The main sections of this  training covers food safety guidelines for preparing foods in a home kitchen which is different from a food service site that would be inspected by the County and/or State Health Departments.

Training covers basics of:

  • foodborne illnesses,
  • proper hygiene;
  • preventing cross contamination and cross-contact of food allergens;
  • temperature control for safe food preparation,
  • storage.

The allowable and not allowable food products are highlighted and explained. CSU Extension fact sheets provided for each food product allowed. Then instructors go into required product ingredient labeling, packaging requirements, marketing, preparation at altitude and for going further with your business.

All of the participants that pass the test receive a laminated CSU Extension Cottage Food Safety certificate that is accepted throughout the state of Colorado. Participants are encouraged to post their food safety certificate for customers to see. They are also added to a CSU Extension Cottage Food Producers listserve that now has over 1000 statewide trained cottage food producers on it as of 2017.

Food PreservationFood Preservation

A variety of courses are available for people who preserve and process food at home. Preserving food at home safely is emphasized along with information on how to produce a quality product.

Course topics include:

  • Safe home canning, freezing, pickling and drying
  • The science of food preservation
  • Producing a quality home preserved product
  • Home processing and equipment
  • Selecting research-based credible resources

Class titles include:

Methods and safety in home food preservation
Jam Technique Workshop
Pickling Technique Workshop
Basics of Water Bath Canning
Pressure Canning Workshop
Basics of Food Preservation
Holiday Jam Technique Workshop
Basics of Dehydrating Workshop
Whole Grain Bread Making
Preserving Tomatoes and Salsa

Click here for a list of classes

Keeping ahead of COVID-19

This rapidly evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) has imposed an unsettling, fluid situation upon our community and its businesses. While the team here still aims to maintain a “business as usual” approach, we are making a number of significant changes to our operations to account for a situation that is far from normal.