Restaurant Report Card: Mixed results at popular outdoor venues in Denver area

Coors Field from a drone (Photo: KDVR)

DENVER —  Each week, FOX31 and Channel 2 report on recent health inspections for restaurants in the Denver area. This week, we featured three popular outdoor summer venues: Coors Field, Civic Center Eats and Red Rocks Amphitheater. We did not use grades or our usual judging criteria this week. Instead, we took a look at the successes and failures of the venues.

Coors Field

A team from Denver’s Department of Environmental Health was at Coors Field this spring ensuring the food at more than 30 locations is safe to eat. In April, inspectors found employees at the cookies and ice cream vendor wiping their gloved hands on a heavily soiled, un-sanitized, single-use towel before scooping ice cream for a customer.

Other issues include:

  • Employee touching popcorn with bare hands
  • Heavily un-sanitized towel used to wipe counter
  • Water not hot enough

The above violations were the worst at one location. However, most vendors had zero violations.

You can search all the stands and vendors at the ballpark by entering the address of “2001 Blake St.” in the business search box on the department’s restaurant inspection search page.

Civic Center Eats

You can also check out the mass gathering of food trucks at Civic Center Park on the Denver County food inspection website.

Denver’s inspectors were at the park in June making sure truck operators have running water, food thermometers and single-use gloves, just like a traditional restaurant.

Food experts examined two dozen trucks and found most with zero or one critical issue.

Civic Center Eats rolls out every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Red Rocks Amphitheater

Jefferson County health experts gave the stands at Red Rocks regular or surprise inspections in June. Inspectors marked seven issues at food stands at the amphitheater.

The violations included:

  • Hot dogs not being held at a warm enough temperature
  • Interior of the ice machine was dusty
  • No sign reminding workers to wash their hands

However, overall, food experts noted safe food practices at the stands.

To search Red Rocks, either enter “Red Rocks Park & Amphitheater” or “18300 West Alameda Parkway” after clicking “Search Inspection Records” on the Jefferson County inspection website.

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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