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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.

Food Safety WorksFood Safety

Food Safety Works is a safe food handler certificate training that teaches entry-level food workers how to safely handle, prepare, and store food. Taught as a 2 hour class with hands-on activities and exam, participants with a passing score receive a safe food handler certificate valid for 2 years.

Benefits for Food Service Workers:

  • Increase confidence and motivation to handle food safely, improve knowledge and awareness of ways to prevent foodborne illness.
  • Receive Food Safety Works wallet card. Valued by employers.
  • Great incentives towards job promotion.

Benefits for Your Business:

  • Take pride in being proactive in preventing foodborne illness.
  • Increase consumer confidence: show that you value safety!
  • Increase employee pride and teamwork in serving food.
  • Increase likelihood of improved inspections.

Attendees receive:

  • A Food Safety Works Manual
  • Food Safety Works Certificate of Attendance
  • Food Safety Works Wallet Card

CSU Extension Cottage Food Safety TrainingCottage Foods

This 2 1/2 hour food safety training 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.

    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.