Failed restaurants score common violations: bare hand use and food thawing in sink

DENVER -- Every week FOX31 looks at health inspections at local restaurants and brings our findings to our viewers.

Okinawa Sushi

Tri County Health Inspectors found 14 critical health code violations in October and September.  The critical issues include:

  • Rodent Droppings
  • Raw Shrimp Thawing on bamboo leaves
  • An employee eating behind sushi bar
  • Handling food with bare hands

The restaurant did not return our calls so we stopped by.  An employee told us the owner and the manager were not there. Reports show health inspectors returned to the Okinawa Sushi three times before the restaurant corrected the violations by mid-October.

Okinawa Sushi is located at 9231 East Lincoln Avenue in Lone Tree.

El Gallito

The Denver restaurant scored 9 critical violations during their October un- announced inspection.

Health Department Picture
El Gallito

The inspector found the following violations:

  • Blood on floor in cooler and near sinks
  • Food stored in plastic carry out bags
  • Meat thawing in sink
  • Soiled towels and aprons

El Gallito did not return our calls so we went by to check out the kitchen.  Fox 31’s Erika Gonzalez asked an employee what they’ve done to correct the problems.  The employee said in Spanish that all the violations had been corrected.

El Gallito is on South Sheridan Boulevard.

Ethiopian Restaurant

The “A” goes to Ethiopian Restaurant at 2816 East Colfax Avenue for a job well done.

Assistant manager Nardos Negussie said it takes a routine to get it right. “I wouldn’t say it’s hard it just requires attention to detail. We’ve been doing this for 30 plus years. It’s gotten easier with time.  It’s sort of become second nature. But we do try to remain eternally vigilant and keep an eye out,” Negussie said.

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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