Restaurant Report Card: Dusty boots, dirty hands and cockroaches

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DENVER -- The restaurant is called Dusty Boot, but health inspectors were more concerned with dirty hands.

The Dusty Boot Steakhouse and Saloon in Greenwood Village earned an “F” on our Restaurant Report Card for 16 critical violations in its December and September 2013 inspections.

Tri-County Health Department conducts critical items inspections marking only critical items and no non-critical issues.

The Greenwood Village steakhouse had two temperature violations in December including “whipped butter … was 71F,” not the required temperature of 41 degrees or less. Health experts require foods to be held at specific temperatures to keep bacteria from growing.

Also in December, an inspector said the dish washer was not sanitizing.  In September, inspectors “observed an employee … picking an item off the ground, then handling food items without washing their hands.”

Also, inspectors marked fruit flies in the liquor and a moldy lemon.  We requested an interview with the general manager, instead he sent us this statement:  "As of a February, 10 2014 Tri-County Health Department follow-up inspection, all issues have been corrected and no critical violations were observed or exist. We currently meet all health department standards…” Health experts have been back at the restaurant for four follow-up inspections thus far this year.

Next we stop by Puerto Vallarta in Aurora which earned an “F” for 16 critical violations in an October critical item inspection and a routine or unannounced inspection in June 2013.

Among the violations in October: “Several moldy oranges, raw beef stored above ready-to-eat sour cream” and “numerous flies and cockroaches were present in the kitchen.”

Also, inspectors found “two bottles of floor stripper were stored on a kitchen preparation table.”

Fox31 Denver called the restaurant, but we were hung up on twice so went to the East Montview Boulevard location. The owner of the restaurant was not there but called Fox31 Denver’s Heidi  Hemmat.

The owner told Hemmat she purchased the restaurant a few months ago and she has fixed everything. The restaurant did pass a follow-up inspection, in which the owners know the health department is scheduled to inspect again.

Our “A” of the week goes to Grow Your Own an indoor growing supply and wine bar in Conifer for no critical violations in back-to-back inspections. Owner Leslie Murray said she did her homework. “We did a lot of research as far as what is supposed to happen as far as restaurant food safety.”  Murray said.

How Restaurants Appear on our Report Card

Restaurant Report Card features health inspections in the city and county of Denver, Jefferson County and restaurants under the jurisdiction of the Tri-County Health Department. The Tri-County Health Department includes Adams, Arapahoe and Douglas counties.

An inspection is a “snapshot” of what is happening during the day and time of the inspection. On any given day, a restaurant could have more or fewer violations than noted in an inspection. Also, at the time of an inspection, violations are recorded and can be corrected prior to the inspector leaving the restaurant. If violations are not corrected, a follow-up inspection is scheduled.

The criteria FOX31 uses to give a restaurant a failing grade includes the evaluation of two unannounced inspections by county health inspectors. A failing restaurant must have 5 critical violations on their most recent regular inspection and 5 critical violations on the previous regular inspection. Health inspectors may conduct critical or follow-up inspections, due to the number of critical violations found during a regular inspection. Those inspections may also be considered for our reports. We recognize restaurants with two perfect regular inspections in a row by awarding them an A. 

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