Thursday, August 25, 2016

Back-to-School Food Safety Tips

Back-to-School Food Safety Tips 

Bacteria that cause foodborne illness, commonly known as food poisoning, grow rapidly at temperatures between 41°F and 135°F. In just two hours, these microorganisms can multiply to dangerous levels, which can cause foodborne illness. To make sure lunches and snacks are safe for those you pack for, you should follow the four steps to food safety: Clean – Separate – Cook – and Chill.
Packing Tips
  • If the lunch/snack contains perishable food items like luncheon meats, eggs, cheese, or yogurt, make sure to pack it with at least two cold sources.  Harmful bacteria multiply rapidly so perishable food transported without an ice source won't stay safe long.
  • Frozen juice boxes or water can also be used as freezer packs. Freeze these items overnight and use with at least one other freezer pack.  By lunchtime, the liquids should be thawed and ready to drink.
  • Pack lunches containing perishable food in an insulated lunchbox or soft-sided lunch bag. Perishable food can be unsafe to eat by lunchtime if packed in a paper bag.
  • If packing a hot lunch, like soup, chili or stew, use an insulated container to keep it hot. Fill the container with boiling water, let stand for a few minutes, empty, and then put in the piping hot food. Tell children to keep the insulated container closed until lunchtime to keep the food hot - 135°F or above.
  • If packing a child’s lunch the night before, parents should leave it in the refrigerator overnight. The meal will stay cold longer because everything will be refrigerator temperature when it is placed in the lunchbox.
  • If you’re responsible for packing snack for the team, troop, or group, keep perishable foods in a cooler with ice or cold packs until snack time. Pack snacks in individual bags or containers, rather than having children share food from one serving dish.
Storage Tips
  • If possible, a child’s lunch should be stored in a refrigerator or cooler with ice upon arrival. Leave the lid of the lunchbox or bag open in the fridge so that cold air can better circulate and keep the food cold.
Eating and Disposal Tips
  • Pack disposable wipes for washing hands before and after eating.
  • After lunch, discard all leftover food, used food packaging, and paper bags. Do not reuse packaging because it could contaminate other food and cause foodborne illness.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Raw Dough's a Raw Deal and Could Make You Sick

Raw Dough's a Raw Deal and Could Make You Sick

Do you find it hard to resist gobbling up a piece of raw dough when making cookies, or letting your children scrape the bowl? Do your kids use raw dough to make ornaments or homemade “play” clay? If your answer to any of those questions is yes, that could be a problem. Eating raw dough or batter—whether it’s for bread, cookies, pizza or tortillas—could make you, and your kids, sick, says Jenny Scott, a senior advisor at the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.  Check out the link below to get additional information about raw dough.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Farmer’s Markets in Pueblo County: What You Need to Know

Farmer’s Markets in Pueblo County: What You Need to Know

Farmer’s Markets are deemed as non-temporary special events by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), and are regulated by local county health departments under guidelines set forth from CPDHE. All Farmer’s Markets in Pueblo County are inspected by the Pueblo City County Health Department (PCCHD); however, only the vendors processing (cooking, peeling, slicing, etc.) food items will require an inspection. At this time, there are no regulations regarding raw, uncut produce. Vendors preparing, holding, and selling potentially hazardous foods are not allowed at Farmer’s Markets unless they have a licensed brick and mortar, mobile unit, or offsite vendor. Mobiles must have current licenses and be completely enclosed with no equipment used outside of the unit. These units must also have power as well as hot and cold water under pressure. Chile Roasters may not by in an enclosed unit and must have a hand sink with soap and paper towels with hot and cold water under pressure. Follow the link for a list of Colorado Farmer's Markets.
Among the vendors may be individuals selling Cottage Foods, which are limited items made in an unlicensed kitchen. These items include spices, teas, jams, and certain baked goods.  Cottage Foods do not require a food license to be sold, but have a series of requirements that must be met before sales begin. A complete list of acceptable food items and requirements may be found on the Cottage Food Fact Sheet.  Pickled vegetables are currently not allowed under the Cottage Food Act, but rules and regulations are being developed currently. The Cottage Food Act has recently undergone some changes, so interested parties should keep an eye out for up-to-date resources on the CDPHE website. Contact PCCHD’s division of Environmental Health at 719-583-4307 for specific questions.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016


Public Health Announces Pueblo First Food Truck
to Meet Exceptional Food Safety Practices

Pueblo, CO –The Food Safety Program at the Pueblo City-County Health Department proudly announced the continued growth of its Pueblo Partners in Food Safety program. The Pueblo Partners in Food Safety recognizes local restaurants with exceptional food safety practices, protocols and health reports. The program began in April 2015 with six restaurants and has since grown to include the programs’ first food truck. The newest Partner is: Slug & Chug.

“We are happy to see Pueblo Partners in Food Safety’s growth and acceptance in the community, especially with local restaurant owners and now a food truck,” said Vicki Carlton, food safety program manager at the Pueblo City-County Health Department. Carlton added, “The Health Department congratulates all restaurants recognized Partners due to their hard work and dedication to health standards.  All restaurants and food trucks are encouraged to apply; assistance is available with resources for program enrollment, self-assessments and safe food handler training.” 

The Pueblo Partners in Food Safety not only recognizes and promotes restaurants and food facilities but is also a tool to develop Active Managerial Control, a system to ensure steps for safe food handling are being followed. Active Managerial Control empowers food handlers to take control of risks and ensure operations remain safe. Participating facilities conduct a self-assessment of practices and apply to join the program. The Pueblo City-County Health Department reviews and approves applications, allowing partners to receive an official decal for their place of business, a certificate of approval and public recognition on The Dish of Pueblo website

Look for the Pueblo Partners in Food Safety window decal at your favorite restaurant in Pueblo and a full list is available online. For more information about the program, food safety news and to view health inspections in Pueblo, visit and like The Dish of Pueblo on Facebook.

Current Pueblo Partners in Food Safety

·    Auntie Bev’s Restaurant
·    Cactus Flower
·    Chick-Fil-A
·    Chili’s Grill and Bar
·    Cracker Barrel Old Country Store
·    Doss Aviation Initial Flight Training
·    Estela’s Millstop CafĂ©
·    Eurest at Vestas Towers
·    The Gathering
·    GG’s BBQ & Catering
·    Gold Dust Saloon
·    Orange Julius
·    Pueblo City Schools (all 33 schools)
·    Pueblo County School District 70 (all 20 schools)
·    Pueblo Joe’s at Pueblo Community College
·    Pueblo SRDA (all feeding sites)
·    Rocco’s Riverside Deli
·    Tuscan Bean
·    Schlep’s Sandwiches
·    Starbucks (Eagleridge)

Monday, April 18, 2016

Pesticides and Doses of Toxic Chemicals OH MY!

Momma probably already told you to wash the strawberries. But did she say why? We have said it once and we will say it again, washing produce is important. Don't believe us?Read the article in Food Safety News. The FDA agrees with Momma and so do we! 

Thursday, April 7, 2016

National Public Health Week

Welcome to National Public Health Week 2016!  This week is a time to recognize the contributions of public health and highlight issues that are important to improving the health of our city and our nation.  This is a national celebration and we here at the Dish of Pueblo are celebrating too!

Food Safety and health inspections are a vital part of public health because they ensure that our food supply is protected and safe.  Food safety is a shared responsibility and it’s up to farmers, stores, restaurants and cooks to keep people safe.  Access to enough safe and nutritious food is key to good health and to a strong society.

Thank you Pueblo for allowing us to do work that protects our citizens and our environment.  Hip-Hip-Hooray for Public Health!

Want to learn more about the Pueblo City-County Health Department?  Go here!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Birthday Time!

It's the Dish of Pueblo's birthday! 

We launched The Dish and its facebook account one year ago!  We are so thankful for all the support and encouragement we've received throughout the last year.  We hope that Pueblo's public and industry has been able to utilize this website to get better food safety information through training, resources and a social network.  We are just beginning our journey and we welcome your feedback.  If you have any questions, concerns or comments please let us know.  This website is for you Pueblo!


Here's to many more years of The Dish!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Fight BAC Super Bowl

Check out this helpful infographic!  Keep your Super Bowl food delicious and safe with these tips!
Need recipes?  Check out our weekly FRIDAY FOODIE on our facebook!


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Super Bowl 50 Safety

First Down Food Safety Tips for your Broncos Super Bowl Party

In order to win the game (Go Broncos!), the first downs have to keep coming without the penalties. Super Bowl Sunday will be a long day of first downs and a long day of eating! It’s the second highest day of food consumption in the U.S., and that means hosts and guests need to have their defense ready to keep foodborne illness from scoring on the party.

Super Bowl parties should be remembered for a great time and not the place where the food made you sick. We’re offering fans some important game day tips to keep the party free of food safety penalties.


Illegal use of the hands
Before and after preparing or handling food, always wash hands with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. Unclean hands are a major food penalty for you and your guests. Use clean platters to serve and restock food, and keep surfaces clean.
Pass Interference
Keep raw meats separate from other foods. To avoid a penalty here, make sure raw meats do not come in contact with other foods on the buffet. Never place cooked food back on the same plate that previously held raw food unless the plate has been first washed in hot, soapy water.
Personal Foul 
Don’t cause a personal foul that’s risky to the health of your guests. Always use a food thermometer to make sure meat and poultry are cooked to the right temperature. Color and texture are not indicators of being fully cooked. Ground beef should be cooked to 160˚F, poultry should be cooked to 165˚F and steaks should reach a 145˚F with a three-minute rest time.

Avoid this penalty by keeping hot food hot and cold food cold. Do not keep food on the buffet at room temperature for more than two hours. Hot foods need to have a hot source to keep them out of the Danger Zone. Bacteria multiply rapidly between 40˚F – 140˚F. The same rule applies for cold foods – they need to be nestled in ice to remain safe for guests. If there is a delay of game and you didn’t practice effective clock management with the buffet, don’t eat or serve the food. When in doubt, throw it out. Replenish it with fresh servings.