Restaurant Report Card: Food temperature problems a serious health risk

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 downtown, one failed location in Lower Downtown and a winner in Lower Downtown.

The Palm

The downtown Denver location failed our report with 11 critical health code violations during its last two surprise inspections in May 2019 and June 2018.

The Palm failed Report Card with rodent droppings

Rodent droppings led to The Palm's "F" on our Report Card

In May, the six violations consisted of:

  • Buckets of sanitizing solution in use measured zero for ammonium
  • Water in hand sink was not hot enough
  • A wooden cutting board to pound veal had a “black substance” covering it
  • Inspector found dozens of rodent droppings in storage
  • Floor in kitchen and bar had "excessive amounts food and debris"
  • Lobster bisque, cheese and leafy greens were thrown out for being held at too warm a temperature

The restaurant’s public relations firm sent an email that says:

“We at the Palm Restaurant Group are disappointed by our recent health code violations at The Palm Denver and have already taken corrective measures. Our newly hired Executive Chef Anthony Ramos confirms: 'I’ve made it my top priority to address the violations and have made the necessary corrections to our operating procedures.' In addition to a new Chef, The Palm Denver has hired a new General Manager, changed its pest control vendor, and replaced its cleaning company. Our mission continues to be to treat guests like family, serve great food and always exceed expectations.”

The Palm is located in the Westin Denver Downtown at 1672 Lawrence St., Denver.

STK

The steakhouse on Market Street scored eight critical mistakes in May. Among the violations:

  • Grits, cheese and Alfredo sauce were thrown out for being held at the wrong temperature
  • No chlorine being used in the dishwasher at the bar
  • Toxic sanitizing solution

Corporate sent the following email:

“At STK, we follow strict guidelines regarding food safety. We have taken immediate steps to address all concerns from initial inspection on May 6, and as of re-inspection May 14, we are in complete compliance with all health code requirements.”

STK is located at 1550 Market St., Denver.

Yampa Sandwich Co. (Wazee Street location)

A deli favorite in LoDo, Yampa Sandwich Co., which used to be Backcountry Delicatessen, scored two perfect inspections in a row.

Yampa earns A

Yampa earns an "A"

“To achieve a perfect health inspection we feel like we work on a lot of training and education. It’s all about establishing the right culture with good habits. But, once the systems are in place it’s more about keeping up with current regulations and working with your team to ensure they are utilizing the tools that are provided," owner Dave Mischell said.

And what’s it like to make the grade?

“We were excited. We are proud to be recognized for all of our efforts. Our teams work hard every single day making sure we follow the regulations established by the health department to keep our customers safe," Mischell said.

This Yampa location is 1617 Wazee St., Denver.

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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