Restaurant Report Card: Failing to refrigerate food earns an ‘F’

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DENVER -- A Denver Middle Eastern eatery earns an "F" on our Restaurant Report Card for their failure to refrigerate food.

Jerusalem

Jerusalem at 1890 East Evans Avenue scored a failing grade for 11 critical violations in its last two inspections.

In August, inspectors observed “several flies in the kitchen” and found “several molded tomatoes” stored in a reach in cooler.  An employee was observed handling a wash cloth in a bucket of sanitizer and then handling a customer’s pita bread.

The inspector also found an employee washing pans and lids without sanitizing them and an employee using a soiled cloth to clean a food preparation table.

And, potentially hazardous foods like “salad and tzatziki sauce” were held at 50 degrees in a 77 degree cooler.

FOX31 Denver's Heidi Hemmat asked, “Does your staff realize something held in a 77 degree cooler could be really dangerous to the customer who eats that food?”

Jerusalem’s Reema Wahdan told Hemmat the cooler was warm because they were cleaning it when the inspector arrived and that all the violations have been corrected.  “We have been serving the Denver community area for 35 years and our policy is we are going to continue to serve the healthiest and freshest food to our customers because our customers are number one.”  Wahdan said.

Green Fine Salad Company

Next on our report card, Green Fine Salad Company on the 16th Street Mall earned an "F" for 13 critical mistakes.

Inspectors cited the signature salad spot at 110 16th Street in Denver for a cook line staff member who was cleaning and stocking the shelves, wiping down pans and counters and preparing food all while wearing the same gloves.

The August inspection report said, “Employees uses bare hands to contact ready to eat foods.”

Inspectors also found “there was no soap at the hand sink” and the sanitizer on the food prep line was so strong it was toxic.  We requested an interview with the CEO of Green Fine Salad, but instead he sent us this statement:  “…all deficiencies, none of which related to food handling, were resolved prior to the inspector leaving our restaurant…Green Fine Salad is committed to providing our customers with the highest quality food, served in a safe and clean environment.”

"A+" for La Abeja

And finally our "A+" of the week is La Abeja on East Colfax for back-to-back perfect inspections. The restaurant at 508 East Colfax in Denver had perfect scores on its most recent health inspections.

Issac Valadez credits his father for their high standards. "We try to maintain it as clean as possible. He pushes us to be as good as we can.”

Valadez said the recognition on our report gives his family owned business a reason to smile.  Hemmat asked, “How do you say good job in Spanish?

“Buenta vaco,” Valadez said.

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