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Employees not knowing how to handle food safely lead to report card ‘F’s’

DENVER -- Every week, FOX31 looks at health inspections at restaurants in metro Denver and along the Front Range.

Taco Mex VI

The Aurora Taco Mex failed the report card with 17 critical health code violations found during two inspections in February. The mistakes included:

  • Employees not washing hands
  • Handling ready to eat food with bare hands
  • No soap at the hand sink
  • Weak sanitizer

“All violations could have been avoided," owner Alejandro Villegas said in a statement. "The majority of new employees have never worked in restaurants or handling food that is why all new employees are taking online food safety and handler training programs. All violations have been corrected."

Taco Mex VI, which is at 2210 S. Chambers Road, passed its follow-up inspection.

Pho Belmarasia

A Jefferson County inspector cited the Lakewood restaurant for 12 critical violations in March. The issues included:

  • Rodent droppings
  • Employees did not know basic food safety
  • Raw beef stored over raw shrimp

“Everything is good right now you know, nothing problems," an employee said.

An inspector found three critical violations when they returned to Pho Belmarasia that the restaurant corrected this week. The restaurant is at 7215 W. Alameda Ave.

Blunozer

If you’re looking for a bite of breakfast, our “A” goes to this Denver restaurant for two perfect inspections.

“Our mom taught us how to be real clean," owner Dorothy Hotchkiss said. "Customers who come in and see us here is wide open so we want to be able to make everyone comfortable and feel like they are home and it’s nice and they feel comfortable too. That’s how we are we’re just clean.”

Blunozer is at 1475 Ivy St.

How restaurants appear on the 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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