Restaurant Report Card: Unsanitary utensil storage among failed restaurants’ mistakes

DENVER -- Each week, FOX31 and Channel 2 report on recent health inspections for restaurants in the Denver area. This week, we featured one failed location in Lakewood, one failed location in Englewood and a winner in Stapleton.

Wasabi Sushi Bar

The Lakewood location failed with 12 serious health code violations in April.

The issues include:

  • $300 food was thrown out for being held at the wrong temperature
  • Worker was preparing food with with an exposed wound on her arm
  • Utensils stored in ice, which promotes bacteria growth
  • No signs reminding people to wash their hands

A manager took us behind kitchen doors for a look at the corrections and told us everyone is taking food safety courses.

"First, we did clean all over the restaurant and we also scheduled a health training class that will be [held] tomorrow. And all the servers and the workers will be in attending that class.  We are really sorry about what happened at our restaurant and we will try our best to not make it happen again," the supervisor said.

Wasabi is at 433 S. Teller St. in Lakewood's Belmar neighborhood.

The Copper Pot on Broadway

Tri-County Health found 10 violations in March. The mistakes include:

  • No certified food protection manager
  • Warm spinach artichoke dip
  • Utensils stored in water, which promotes bacteria growth
  • No dispose date on food
The Copper Pot

Englewood restaurant scored 10 violations in March

The restaurant sent us the following email:

“We are completely aware of our mistakes during the inspection and immediately acted upon them. We spoke to the Health Inspector directly and she kindly provided us with a training session. She thoroughly explained to the staff what went wrong and taught the staff on how to avoid those mistakes. We are working very hard on making sure we don’t make the same mistake twice. Our goals here at The Copper Pot are customer satisfaction and food safety. We will work tirelessly as a team to make sure your first or hundredth time here at The Copper Pot is always a great experience.”

You’ll find The Copper Pot at 2796 S. Broadway in Englewood.

Panda Express (Stapleton location)

The Panda Express on East 36th Avenue in Denver's Stapleton neighborhood scored two inspections in a row without any critical mistakes.

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 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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