Restaurant Report Card: 2 longtime metro restaurants struggle with health code violations

Toasted and Cajun

The Denver restaurant failed our report will 11 serious health code violation in December, including:

  • The inspector ordered the restaurant to quit using the dish machine because it wasn’t sanitizing
  • Ice machine had built-up dirt and debris
  • 5-gallon bin of fries tossed due to being held at the wrong temperature
  • Open container of vaping liquid next to spices

Toasted & Cajun in Denver

The owner sent an email that says, in part: “Toasted and Cajun appreciates our customers' business. We are here because of them… the day manager is currently taking a food safety course to make sure that all employees are properly trained and up-to-date with regulations to maintain a safe and sanitary establishment for the safety of our customers.”

Toasted and Cajun, which passed a follow-up inspection, is located at 3500 Morrison Road in Denver's Westwood neighborhood.

Café Jordano

A Jefferson County inspector cited the restaurant for nine violations in December. The mistakes include:

  • Raw shrimp and bacon stored over noodles and ready-to-eat produce
  • A cook wearing a heavily soiled apron
  • An employee opened a back door but did not wash their hands
  • Several bottles of chemicals were not labeled

Cafe Jordano inspected by Jefferson County

The owner, Elisa Heitman, sent the following written comment that said, in part: "Unfortunately, this inspection came during a very busy shift, and some violations occurred. All concerns were immediately addressed, and all problems were dealt with and corrected immediately -- as evidenced in the inspection report. We appreciate and love our community and customers, and we have restructured kitchen routines to insure this does not occur again."

Café Jordano is in Lakewood at 11068 West Jewell Avenue.

Panera Bread

Our “A” goes to Panera Bread in Lone Tree for two inspections without critical violations.

Marketing manager Meghan Connaghan said, “We have a daily check list. We check it each and every day, two times a day, and all of our associates are trained on that.  We also hire an external company to come and audit each of our bakeries three times a year so that we can get some feedback and make sure we have consistency in our standards."

Connaghan said the inspections are a surprise and it’s not easy to make a perfect grade.

"In general, health inspections are difficult because you never know when they will come.  So, it’s all about consistency every single day. Training our associates to make sure we are the measures we set for ourselves. And then it’s easy to get a good health inspection scores because we are already doing the things they are looking for. We were super proud and excited for our team and our associates and managers are really excited that we got an A,” Connaghan said.

Panera Bread's Lone Tree location is at 9233 Park Meadows Drive.

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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