Restaurant Report Card: Lack of food managers contributed to F ratings

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DENVER -- Each week, FOX31 and Channel 2 report on recent health inspections for restaurants in the Denver area. The week's Restaurant Report Card features two restaurants in Arvada and one in Golden.

Tamale Kitchen

Jefferson County inspectors cited Tamale Kitchen in Arvada for nine health code violations in the month of February, including no certified food protection manager and ground beef defrosting in the sink.

Other mistakes include:

  • There were no sanitizer testing strips.
  • There was no plan if someone got sick.

A person in charge of the restaurant also said sick employees were allowed to work when they should be sent home.

The restaurant management sent the following email:

"We take pride in our establishment and ensuring our customers and food are always safe.  All violations have been corrected and will comply to the new 2019 standards going forward.  New procedures have been posted, proper labels have been implemented, and all new employees will receive proper training.  At no time was our food deemed unsafe and we welcome any and all questions regarding this matter. “

Tamale Kitchen

Arvada location scores "F" on Restaurant Report Card

The restaurant passed two follow-up inspections from Jefferson County Public Health early March.

Tamale Kitchen is located at 8665 Sheridan Boulevard.

Sultan Grill

The Arvada restaurant failed with nine critical violations on March 15.

Among the issues:

  • Owner had a lack of food safety knowledge.
  • There was no food manager.
  • Raw meats and ready-to-eat food were stored together.
  • Beans were held at the wrong temperature. An employee refused to throw them away and put them in a car for personal use.

The owner’s son, Mohammad Alissa, showed Problem Solvers the kitchen and said they have corrected all the violations.

“We take them very seriously. That’s why both the head chef and the management were both fired because this is something... I always tell them, this is the top thing to do. Make sure the food is at the right temperature, that everything is cooked right and everything is cleaned," said Alissa.

Alissa also said the beans were eventually thrown away.  Sultan Grill is at West 64th Avenue and Ward Road.

Gold Mine Cupcakes

Our “A” this week goes to Gold Mine Cupcakes for two perfect inspections in a row.

Gold Mine Cupcakes

Gold Mine Cupcakes in Golden earns "A"

“We are a family-owned business and then we like to treat our employees like family too.  Making sure that everyone is on the same page and making sure it’s a nice, welcoming environment for everybody that walks in," said owner Sara Rutter.

Rutter told us they’re excited that their hard work is paying off.

“We are very humbled and honored. Just being a cupcake shop, it’s kind of a big deal to get an A-plus from the Report Card. Usually, the big restaurants get them, so it’s nice to be recognized as a little guy doing well,” Rutter said.

Gold Mine cupcakes are in Golden at 700 12th Street.

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. At the time of 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 use 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 eight 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.

Denver County

Tri-County Health Department

Jefferson County

Weld County

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