Prepackaged Food

Preparing and Selling Prepackaged Food

All foods served to the public must be obtained from an approved source.

If you plan to prepare food for wholesale distribution (i.e. selling to grocery stores, coffee shops, restaurants, etc.), you must first contact the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment, Wholesale Division.

To sell prepackaged shelf-stable/non-potentially hazardous food at the retail level (including baked goods, granola, canned goods, candy bars, potato chips, etc.):

Potentially Hazardous Foods

To sell prepackaged potentially hazardous foods (see definition) at the retail level:

  • The products must be obtained from a registered wholesale operation and meet requirements for proper labeling.
  • Obtain a Colorado Retail Food license (422 KB) 
  • Previously unlicensed retail operations must submit plans for review and receive approval prior to licensing and operation. Plan review information for stationary facilities and mobile units.

Processed Foods:

  • Processed foods are foods that undergo slicing, dicing, cutting, chopping, cooking, mixing, grinding, smoking, drying, packaging, canning or other procedures that alter the food from its original state. Mixed greens, honey, and salsa are examples of processed foods. Agricultural product sold in its raw harvested state is not considered processed.
  • Low acid canned foods such as vegetables, meat, fish, etc. cannot be sold or distributed unless they were processed at an approved cannery. This is due to the extreme risk of botulism, a potentially fatal illness associated with canned foods.
  • Processed foods must comply with all federal and Colorado labeling regulations when sold at the wholesale level and retail level (see above).

 Related Links


Food Safety Program

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