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Retail Food Establishment Regulations and Resources

Food Code Updates (as of March 16, 2024)
Colorado Retail Delivery Fee (effective July 1, 2022)
Colorado Retail Food Establishment Rules and Regulations (effective January 2019)
Denver Retail Food Establishment Rules and Regulations
Colorado Retail Food Statute
Federal Menu-Labeling Requirements

Sugary Drink Menu Requirements

Lafayette, Longmont, and Golden have local sugary drink ordinances in effect for all restaurants within their jurisdictions. The ordinances limit the default beverage choices on kids’ menus for bundled food-and-drink meals to water, sparkling water without added sweeteners, and plain milk or milk alternatives.

The ordinances do not prohibit customers from ordering other beverages or prohibit restaurants and their employees from selling other beverages.

In other words, the drinks that come with kids’ bundled meals in Lafayette, Longmont, and Golden must be one of the three drinks listed above, but if a customer asks for soda or any other drink, the restaurant may sell it to them.

Regulations Regarding Dogs on Patios

Dogs on Patios in Denver

In the City and County of Denver, dogs are allowed on restaurant patios if the restaurant owner allows it.

In order for Denver restaurants to allow dogs on their patios, the restaurant must adhere to the following:

  • Must have a patio that has direct access to enter the patio without going through the restaurant
  • If the patio is less than 400 square feet in size, there cannot be table service for food or drink in the patio/outdoor dining area
  • If the patio is larger than 400 square feet in size, at least half of the patio must be designated as a “dog-free zone” and prohibit dogs in that section. The other section of the patio allowing dogs must have direct access to the sidewalk or other outside area.
  • Patios larger than 400 square feet in size that allow dogs must provide clear signage indicating the area where dogs are allowed.

Dogs on Patios in Colorado (outside of Denver)

In 2019, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment issued a statewide variance request criteria to allow dogs that are not service animals in an outdoor patio area. If a restaurant follows the below criteria, then they can allow dogs on outdoor patios:

  • First, you must request approval for allowing dogs on your patio and it must be granted by the local regulatory authority.
  • The dog-friendly area must be maintained – clean and free of animal waste.
  • Dog waste clean-up bags must be available to customers at all times when the outdoor seating area is open for use.
  • Receptacles for the disposal of animal waste must be available when the outdoor seating area is open. The receptacles must be emptied at least daily and must be kept in a clean and sanitary condition.
  • The dog-friendly outdoor seating area must be accessible from the outdoors. Non-service dogs are not allowed inside the restaurant.
  • Staff are not allowed to pet, hold, or feed dogs.
    Employees that have incidental contact with dogs or dog bowls must wash their hands.
  • If provided, dog water bowls must be filled, cleaned, and stored in a manner that prevents contamination of food, food equipment, and single-service articles.
  • The following requirements must be communicated to customer using signs, printed brochures, advisories, or other effective written means:
    • Your dog must be well-behaved and on a leash at all times.
    • Keep your dog close to you, but not on tables or chairs.
    • Do not let your dog eat or drink out of the restaurant’s glassware or dishware.
    • Clean up after your dog with the provided cleaning supplies.
Printable PDF of local dog patio rules

Food Safety Resources

Denver Food Safety System Toolkit
Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment Food Safety & Licensing
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