Flies among problems at restaurants getting ‘F’s’ on the Report Card

DENVER -- The FOX31 Problem Solvers search hundreds of inspections to see how metro Denver restaurants are doing on their health inspections.

Flaming Joes

The Aurora restaurant failed the report card with 14 critical health code violations. The mistakes included:

  • Rodent droppings
  • Multiple flies
  • Raw fish stored above chicken wings
  • Hot and cold food held at wrong temperatures

“We were unfortunately unaware of some rules set forth by the Health Department," the restaurant said in an email. "We are happy to learn about issues that need our attention so that we can continue to improve and maintain the high quality our guests have come to expect and deserve."

Flaming Joes is at 18648 E. Hampden Ave. in Aurora.

El Olones Restaurant

The Lakewood restaurant scored 10 critical mistakes in its August inspection. The violations included:

  • Fly strip
  • Raw fish thawing in warm water
  • No hot and cold water at hand sink
  • Mold in ice machine

The kitchen manager didn't speak English, but said the restaurant has been doing a lot more cleaning.

Pink residue was seen inside the ice machine and raw shrimp was thawing in standing water.

The restaurant is at 6026 W. Alameda Ave. in Lakewood.

Great Harvest Bread Company

The “A” goes to Great Harvest Bread Company in Erie for perfect back-to-back health inspections.

Great Harvest makes its own bread, pastries, muffins and cookies.

“The health department comes in and talk us through what is important and we just make sure we follow their rules," owner Heather Merrill said.

"It’s pretty easy, everyone here is great about putting gloves on or using tongs. We just don’t touch food with our bare hands. People who are sick don’t come to work. We just follow all those rules the health department requires for us to be totally clean here.

“It’s was very exciting to get an A. It makes us feel good that we are really doing the best we can. I know all my employees are doing the best they can,” said Merrill.

Great Harvest Bread Company is at 3160 Village Vista Drive in Erie.

How restaurants appear on our Report Card

Restaurant Report Card features health inspections in the city and county of Denver, Jefferson County, Weld County, Broomfield 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 Denver uses to give a restaurant a failing grade includes the evaluation of two unannounced inspections by county health inspectors. A failing restaurant must have five or four critical violations on their most recent regular inspection and five or four critical violations on the previous regular inspection. The restaurant may also fail for nine or ten or more violations in one 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 regular inspections in a row, with no critical violations, by awarding them an A.

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