All Assisted Living Residences
16.1 Residents handling or preparing food for other residents shall have access to a hand-sink, soap
and disposable paper towels. The assisted living residence shall ensure that such residents
understand when to wash hands and the proper procedure for doing so. Supplies for cleaning
and a pre-made solution for sanitizing food contact surfaces shall be readily available. The
ingredients used shall be allowable foods from approved sources and within the “use-by” date.
16.2 The food safety requirements specified in this chapter do not preclude residents from consuming
foods not procured by the assisted living residence.
20 or More Beds
16.3 An assisted living residence that is licensed for 20 beds or more shall comply with the
Department’s regulations concerning Colorado Retail Food Establishments at 6 CCR 1010-2.
Fewer Than 20 Beds
16.4 An assisted living residence that is licensed for fewer than 20 beds shall comply with all of the
requirements in sections 16.5 through 16.37. A commercial kitchen is not a requirement for an
assisted living residence with fewer than 20 beds.
16.5 Anyone preparing or serving food shall complete recognized food safety training and maintain
evidence of completion on site. Food safety training shall be provided by recognized food safety
experts or agencies, such as the Division of Environmental Health and Sustainability, local public
health agencies or Colorado State University Extension Services. At a minimum, a certificate of
completion of the available online modules is sufficient to comply with this section. The successful
completion of other accredited food safety courses is also acceptable.
16.6 Staff shall be in good health and free of communicable disease while handling, preparing or
serving food or handling utensils.
16.7 Staff are prohibited from handling, preparing or serving food or handling utensils for residents or
other staff while experiencing any of the following symptoms: Vomiting, diarrhea, sore throat with
fever, jaundice or lesion containing pus on the hands or wrists.
(a) Staff members experiencing these symptoms are permitted to return to handling food and
utensils only when they have been symptom-free for at least 24 hours and/or the lesions
on their hands are bandaged and completely covered with an impervious glove or finger
16.8 The assisted living residence shall ensure that food handlers, cooks and servers properly wash
their hands using the following procedure:
(A) Wash hands in warm (100°F to 120°F) soapy water by vigorously scrubbing all surfaces
of the hands and wrists for at least 20 seconds. Rinse hands clean. Thoroughly dry
hands with a disposable paper towel. Use the paper towel to turn off sink faucets before
16.9 The assisted living residence shall ensure that food handlers, cooks and servers always wash
their hands at the following times:
(A) Before leaving the restroom, and again before returning to food or beverage preparation,
food and food equipment storage areas or dishwashing;
(B) After coughing, sneezing, using a handkerchief or tissue, using tobacco products or
(C) When switching between working with raw animal derived foods and ready-to-eat foods;
(D) After touching the hair, face or body;
(E) During food preparation, as often as necessary to remove soil and contamination and to
prevent cross contamination when changing tasks;
(F) Before handling or putting on single use gloves for food handling and between removing
soiled gloves and putting on new, clean gloves;
(G) After handling soiled dishes or utensils, such as busing tables or loading a dishwashing
(H) After feeding or caring for a resident;
(I) After caring for pets or other animals; and
(J) After engaging in any activity that contaminates the hands such as handling garbage,
mopping, working with chemicals and other cleaning activities.
16.10 The assisted living residence shall ensure that all staff members have good hygienic practices
and wear clean clothing or protective coverings while handling food or utensils.
16.11 The assisted living residence shall prohibit staff members from using common towels and other
multiple use linens or clothing to wipe or dry their hands. When hands become soiled, the ALR
shall ensure that staff wash their hands in accordance with section 16.8(A).
16.12 The assisted living residence shall ensure that staff members refrain from eating or smoking in
the area used for food preparation or storage. Drinking in these areas is allowed with enclosed
containers that do not require manual manipulation of the drinking surface.
16.13 The assisted living residence shall ensure that staff members do not touch their faces, hair or
other body surfaces while handling food.
16.14 Tasting food during preparation shall be done with a utensil that is clean and sanitized. The same
utensil must be washed, rinsed and sanitized before it is reused.
16.15 Utensils used to dispense food shall have handles. Utensil handles shall be kept out of food and
ice. For example, scooping ice with a glass is prohibited.
Bare Hand Contact
16.16 Ready-to-eat foods shall not be handled with bare hands. Instead gloves or utensils must be used
to handle, prepare and serve these foods.
Proper Glove Use
16.17 Disposable food service gloves shall be used in a manner that prevents contamination of food
and food contact surfaces. Gloves shall be changed whenever switching from handling raw
animal products to ready-to-eat foods and whenever else gloved hands become contaminated.
When gloves are changed, hands shall be washed in accordance with section 16.8(A).
16.18 All foods, including raw ingredients and prepared foods, shall be obtained from approved,
licensed or registered sources or food manufacturers. Raw uncut produce can be obtained from
other sources, including grown onsite, as long as good agricultural practices defined by the
United States Department of Agriculture are used. Further guidance for produce grown by an
assisted living residence is detailed in a Department brochure entitled “Food Safety for Vegetable
Gardens, tips for Schools, Child Care and Long Term Care Facilities.” The brochure is available
online at Colorado Food Safety Tips or by contacting the Division of Environmental Health and
Sustainability at 303-692-3645.
16.19 Prohibited foods shall not be served by the assisted living residence. Prohibited foods include raw
or undercooked meat, poultry, fish, and molluscan shellfish; raw unpasteurized eggs; raw milk
and raw seed sprouts. Unpasteurized juice is also prohibited unless it is freshly squeezed and
made to order.
16.20 Foods that pose a greater risk for the long-term care population include deli meats, hot dogs, and
soft cheeses. These foods are allowed, but it is strongly recommended that they be heated before
service to control Listeria monocytogenes, a particularly dangerous bacteria for older adults and
immune compromised populations.
16.21 An assisted living residence shall not distribute or dispense raw milk products of any kind.
16.22 Refrigerated foods opened or prepared and not used within 24 hours must be marked with a “use
by” or “discard by” date. The “use by” or “discard by” date is seven calendar days following
opening or preparation. The seven days cannot surpass the manufacturer’s expiration date for
the product or its ingredients or seven days since the date any of the ingredients in the food were
opened or prepared. This requirement does not apply to commercially prepared condiments and
Required Cooking Temperatures
16.23 Animal derived foods; meat, poultry, fish and unpasteurized eggs must be cooked to the minimum
internal temperatures in the following table before being served or held hot.
Required Holding Temperatures
16.24 Potentially hazardous foods shall be maintained at the proper temperatures at all times.
Potentially hazardous foods that are stored cold shall be held at or below 41°F.
16.25 Potentially hazardous foods that are stored hot shall be held at or above 135°F.
16.26 When foods are being prepared, cooled or reheated, they shall not be held below 135°F or above
41°F for extended time to control the growth of harmful bacteria.
16.27 Potentially hazardous foods that are being reheated from room temperature, such as opening a
can, or from cold storage before hot holding shall be rapidly heated within 2 hours to 165°F.
Rapid heating can be accomplished on a stove top, in an oven, microwave or another approved
16.28 Potentially hazardous foods that are being cooled from room temperature, such as after opening
a can or preparing food from room temperature ingredients, shall be cooled to 41°F within four
Following cooking or removal from hot storage, foods must be cooled within six hours to 41°F.
Begin active cooling foods when foods are 135°F. Cool to 70°F within two hours or less. Then
cool from 70°F to 41°F within four hours or less. Active cooling means using uncovered shallow
pans, ice as an ingredient, ice wands, breaking foods down into small portions and fully
submerging containers in ice baths or a combination of these methods.
16.29 When foods are being assembled or prepared outside of temperature control, the process should
be completed as quickly as possible and no more than two hours.
16.30 Frozen foods shall be thawed under refrigeration, under cool, running water between 60-70°F, in
a microwave oven or as part of the cooking process.
16.31 Leaving food out to thaw without temperature control is prohibited.
16.32 Equipment shall be maintained in working order and cleanable. Refrigeration equipment shall
maintain foods below 41°F. Hot holding equipment must hold food at or above 135°F.
Cleaning and Sanitizing
16.33 Food contact surfaces of equipment shall be washed, rinsed and sanitized before use or at least
every four hours of continual use. Dish detergent shall be labeled for the intended purpose.
Sanitizer shall be approved for use as a no-rinse food contact sanitizer. Sanitizers shall be
registered with EPA and used in accordance with labeled instructions.
16.34 A handwashing sink supplied with soap and disposable paper towels shall be available in all food
16.35 Sinks shall be washed, rinsed and sanitized when switching between food preparation or produce
washing and thawing animal derived foods.
16.36 Dishes, utensils and cookware shall be washed using one of the following methods:
(A) In a single or multiple compartment sink using a dish detergent that is labeled for that
intended purpose. Once washed, dishes and utensils shall be rinsed clean, and then
submerged in an approved no-rinse food contact sanitizer and allowed to air dry.
Sanitizer shall be registered with EPA and used in accordance with labeled instructions;
(B) A domestic or commercial dishwashing machine with a wash water temperature that
reaches a minimum of 155°F or is equipped with a chemical sanitizing cycle.
16.37 Mop water shall only be filled in a dedicated utility sink, a bath tub or using a quick release hose
attachment on another sink that is immediately removed and stored away from the sink after
filling. Mop water shall be disposed in the sanitary sewer (e.g., toilet, bathtub or utility sink). Mop
water shall not be discarded on the ground outside or in a storm drain.