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Restaurant Report Card: A not-so-happy anniversary for one longtime restaurant

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DENVER -- A Castle Rock restaurant fails Restaurant Report Card for what it was not telling customers.

Pegasus Restaurant, 313 Jerry St. in Castle Rock, earned an “F” on our report card for 13 critical violations in two unannounced inspections in February of 2014 and November of 2013.

In February, an inspector said, “A consumer advisory for the sale of raw or partially undercooked animal products was not on the facility’s menu” and “A fruit fly was observed in a bottle of vermouth.”

Last year, an inspector found no hot water in the restrooms and several foods including ground beef, mozzarella cheese, sour cream, ham, mayonnaise and eggs being held at unsafe temperatures. Besides the critical violations, an inspector found 9 non-critical violations in February including “the soda gun holder at the bar was soiled with slime mold.” The owner refused to do an interview, but sent this one-sentence statement:

“Pegasus Restaurant is proud to be celebrating its 26th year in Douglas County." Pegasus passed a follow-up inspection in March.

La Costa, 15037 East Colfax in Aurora, got an “F” on our Report Card for 10 critical violations in its last two routine or unannounced inspections in June of 2014 and August of last year.

Among the violations in June, “An employee was observed with a wound on their wrist that was not properly covered” and “A chlorine bleach sanitizer solution bucket…measured greater than 200ppm of residual chlorine,” which health experts said is toxic.

In a follow-up inspection, an employee was handling raw meat then went on to other tasks without washing their hands.

La Costa’s owner sent a statement: “We have recently experienced a significant increase in business putting pressure on our staff, thus causing us to put our guard down and make mistakes. All violations were corrected immediately.” La Costa passed a follow-up inspection in July.

The “A” of the week goes to Pieology Pizzeria in Lakewood for no critical violations in its last two inspections. You can find the perfect pie at 14255 West Colfax Drive.

Owner Jeff Gordan said, “We really strive to be the cleanest restaurant we can be. I won’t eat in a dirty restaurant and I won’t own a dirty restaurant.”

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 five critical violations on their most recent regular inspection and five 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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