Colorado State health inspections
The GM of our pub just told me that he has it on good authority that someone from the state health board will visit our establishment for a "health inspection" of the brewery, not necessarily the restaurant which is inspcected frequently by county officials.
Do anyone have any experience with this type of inspection and if so what should I expect/be prepared for?
When Tri-county health (Adams, Arapahoe, Douglas counties) tried to inspect our brewery I told them politely to bug off until they showed me a written law that said they had jurisdiction over a brewery. They inspect our tasting room annually but only in regards to dish washing procedures. If you have a kitchen and serve food make sure the boundary between food and beer production is clearly marked as being separate and demand they show jurisdiction by law before you allow them to do squat in the brewing space. Make sure to tell them the brewery is inspected by both the State (dept of revenue and liquor enforcement) and Feds (TTB) and they may back off. Like most government entities is may come down to the individual that shows up and how much of a dick they want to be.
I have never heard of anybody from a state health department showing up. They cannot make up rules as they go, if they set a standard like breweries must be inspected by the state is must be universal and written into the regulations. If something does happen do let us know, the other 140 odd breweries in the state will be very interested. It could be something we take to the state brewers guild for assistance and guidance.
Last edited by CopperKettle; 03-19-2013 at 03:36 PM.
As part of the licensing I've investigated for the new brewery / tasting room, the county health department (which currently isn't licensing breweries) was happy to direct us to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Envrionment to complete the "Application for Registration as a Wholesale Food Manufacturing Facility".
Here's the link to the application: http://www.colorado.gov/cs/Satellite...&ssbinary=true
and here's some info I got from a fellow brewer about jurisdiction:
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment's authority mirrors that of the Federal government in that we provide inspection oversight of “food” which includes “articles used for food or drink" and thus includes alcoholic beverages. See 21 U.S.C. 321(f) and C.R.S. 25-5-402(11). As such, alcoholic beverages are subject to the Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) and Colorado’s Pure Food and Drug Law adulteration and misbranding provisions, and implementing regulations, related to food. For example, manufacturers of alcoholic beverages are responsible for adhering to the federal (21 CFR part 1) and state (25-5-426) registration of food facilities requirements and to the good manufacturing practices in 21 CFR part 110 and C.R.S., 25-5-421. However, as reflected in the 1987 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between FDA and ATF , now called (TTB), TTB is responsible for the promulgation and enforcement of regulations with respect to the labeling of distilled spirits, wines, and malt beverages pursuant to the Federal Alcohol Administration (FAA) Act. 25-5-426 of the Colorado Revised Statute lines out the requirements for wholesale food manufacturing and storage facilities.
I think this is definitely a worthy topic for the Brewer's Guild, but until something changes, who knows. FWIW, I believe there is also a requirement from the Colorado Department of Agriculture to register with them if you're using any Colorado based malts / grains. I'll get more details on that one though...
Our Brewpub in CO is routinely inspected by the Health Dept. With regard to the brewery - they are interested in sanitation practices, hand washing stations, and beer line cleaning.
Ok, so there's an answer that they may have jurisdiction. If they showed up I would explain cleaning and sanitizing the cold parts of the brewery and how everything prior in the process is brought to a rolling boil. Beyond that would it really be necessary to mandate hand washing stations? Nothing that touches wort touches my hands or anything else for that matter after being sanitized.
And $400 a year? Hooray for ANOTHER tax.
Don't tell them about your sour program!
Last edited by CopperKettle; 03-19-2013 at 05:16 PM.
Thanks everyone, I appreciate the input. I'll post again with details if they ever show up.