County Offices & Landfill will be CLOSED on Friday, December 22, 2023. State/Court, County Offices, & Landfill will be CLOSED on Monday, December 25, 2023, for Christmas Day. 


Retail Food: Restaurants, Mobile Units & Grocery Stores

Retail Food Establishments


Opening a Retail Food Establishment

All new or extensively remodeled facilities are required to submit plans and specifications to the Otero County Health Department before such construction or extensive remodeling is begun or any existing structure is converted for use as a retail food establishment. Please contact the Health Department if you are planning on opening a new retail food establishment, making changes to an existing retail food establishment, or if there is a change in ownership of a current establishment.

For more information, see: 

Temporary Food Events


Please submit your vendor worksheet to the Otero County Health Department at least 2 weeks prior to the event.

Cottage Foods


The Cottage Food Act allows individuals to produce, sell, and store certain foods in an unlicensed home kitchen. The list of allowed foods is limited to spices, teas, dehydrated produce, nuts, seed, honey, jams, jellies preserves, fruit butter, and certain baked goods, including candies. A person may sell whole eggs under this section, but may not sell more than 250 dozen per month. The food product must be non-potentially hazardous, and must not require refrigeration

Certain baked goods may be potentially hazardous, such as buttercream frosting, cheesecake, cream pies, etc. To produce and sell these items under the Cottage Food Act, the producer will need to show, through laboratory verification, that the pH and water activity of the product is within the parameters for a non-potentially hazardous food in order to continue producing the product under this provisions of this law.

The food product may only be sold directly to the end user, and may not be distributed or sold further. Selling these products to retail food establishments or grocery stores is prohibited. Labeling and food safety training requirements also apply. 

Please contact the Otero County Health Department at 719-383-4728 for more information, or visit the link below:

Colorado Cottage Foods Act            



Food Safety Courses

The Otero County Health Department strongly encourages all food service workers and managers to obtain food safety training to understand their role in preventing foodborne illness. This can be accomplished by completing the Food Handler Course or the Manager Course as endorsed by the Otero County Health Department. Both courses are available at any time and will satisfy your food safety training. Upon completing the online course and passing the exam, you will obtain a certificate of course completion available to print and display. If interested, group purchases are also available and can be purchased by calling 801-494-1416. Please see the links below.

  Colorado Food Handlers Card

  Food Manager Certification & Training