Food Vendor

Candy Man Canteen Caterer Chili Roasting Food Vendor
Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment
Consumer Protection Division
Retail Food Service
4300 Cherry Creek Drive South
Denver , CO   80246-1530
A Retail Food Establishment license is required. These are normally issued by local county health department where vendor is based. Vendors must provide a Colorado sales tax account number in order to obtain a RFE license.
Commercial kitchen required for preparation of food. Used for licensing address and mobile unit must report at least daily to that location for all supplies and for all cleaning and servicing operations. Contact health department BEFORE constructing or remodeling facility.
Equipment used to transport and store food must meet minimum standards
There are limits on types of foods that can be sold. "Potentially hazardous food" is defined as: a) if it is of animal origin such as meat, milk, fish, shellfish, edible crustacea, or poultry; or b) if it is of plant origin and has been heat treated; or c) if it is raw seed sprouts. See "Colorado Retail Food Establishment Rules and Regulations."


Vendors must comply with local requirements in every city or unincorporated county area were sales are made including but not limited to: Special mobile food unit or peddlers licenses, Traffic and location regulations,
COFFEE KIOSKS: Establishments preparing and serving only hot coffee, hot tea, instant hot beverages, and non-potentially hazardous doughnuts or pastries obtained from sources complying with all laws related to food and food labeling are exempt. However, coffee kiosks that sell iced beverages or potentially hazardous foods must obtain a Retail Food License. It is advisable to contact the local building department or water/sanitation district to see if these structures are prohibited under any of their jurisdictional requirements.


Vendors who sell only uncut fruit and vegetables are exempt from retail food establishment licensure, even if offering samples. Vendors who sell wrapped, non-potentially hazardous foods are also exempt. Food must be protected from contamination at all times, and vendors who prepare samples on site must follow the minimum sanitation guidelines “Preparing and Offering Food Samples to Consumers”. These guidelines state that the person preparing the samples must have an available handwashing facility and must prepare the samples in a sanitary manner. Vendors who offer samples prepared at their commissary do not need a handwashing facility.

Additional requirements apply if preparing potentially hazardous foods.


CHILI ROASTING: Chili roasting establishments must have a Colorado Retail Food Establishment License and must comply with the following minimum requirements: The chilies must be washed with potable water prior to roasting, the roaster must be maintained and kept in a clean condition and good hygienic practices must be used when handling the chilies at all times.




The Colorado Department of Agriculture enforces the Colorado Sale of Meat Act by regulating sellers of Home Food Service Plans (HFSP).  Sellers of HFSP are individuals or companies that sell frozen meat or meat products at a consumer's home.

The HFSP Program provides the purchaser protection from unethical and fraudulent sales tactics.  Prior to doing business in Colorado, a HFSP must first obtain a license from the Department and acquire a surety bond.  The license type depends on the number of salesmen.  Sales contracts must be dated, identify the seller & buyer, described in detail what is purchased, signed by the purchaser and have written notice of the purchaser’s right to cancel the purchase within three days.

License:  Home Food Service Plan sellers must license yearly (July thu June).

Bond:  Each licensee must have a bond or other evidence of financial responsibility prior to licensure.

Sales contracts:  Contracts must be complete and accurate.



Colorado Department of Revenue
1375 Sherman St
Denver , CO   80261
All product sales are subject to sales tax. Contact the Department of Revenue regarding sales tax licensing regardless of whether a business sells retail, wholesale, on consignment or at events. See FYI Sales #4, Guidelines for Determining Sales Tax Rates for Taxable Food Items.


See also FYI Sales #24, Special Regulation: Eating and Drinking Establishments


Local Licensing Authorities
If using propane or flammable liquids (e.g., Chili Roasting), check with local fire department.
Licensing and inspection normally handled by LOCAL COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT. Also, check zoning, local business licenses, and city sales tax.


NOTE:  Food vendors can frequently meet commercial kitchen requirement by renting space from a local restaurant, community center or religious building, which meets commercial standards.
NOTE:  If caterer prepares food in client's kitchen, or if selling only non-perishable packaged foods, a license is normally NOT required. Contact health department for details.
NOTE:  If selling frozen meat products, see FROZEN FOOD VENDOR
NOTE:  If applicable, see LIQUOR
Tuesday, December 29, 2015 - 29:12 pm