Restaurant Report Card: Health department fines for repeat violations at Denver restaurants

Restaurant Report Card
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Nearly every week, Denver food investigators send citations to restaurants for repeat health code violations. Denver Environmental Health released the top fined locations for last year and some are repeat offenders are on our Restaurant Report Card.

Zaidy’s Deli

Health Department picture of Zaidy’s Deli January 2018

Inspectors fined the deli in Cherry Creek $6,250 for violations last year. Health department photographs show the following:

  • Live and dead cockroaches
  • Boxes blocking the hand sink
  • Unlabeled cleaning products
  • Employee drinks next to customer food

The restaurant’s owner sent the following in an email:

“We had a number of violations at the end of 2017 into 2018. We have worked side by side with the Health [Department] including several trainings and having our inspector visit, not every 6 months, but rather every 3-4 weeks to ensure our compliance. Over the last 10 months we have performed extremely well and our inspections reflect that. Unfortunately, we have been fined a significant amount and most of the violations were corrected while the inspector was present. I encourage you to review our last hand-full of inspections…we have come a long way.”

Inspectors were back at the deli in January and found food not being held cold enough.

Zaidy’s Deli is located at 121 North Adams Street.

Tacos Rapidos

The 5th-most fined location is a repeat offender on our report card.

Inspectors fined the West Evans Avenue location $4,750 for critical violations including:

  • Multiple food temperature issues
  • Onions on the floor
  • Toxic sanitizer
  • Filthy floors

Tacos Rapidos did not return our messages, so the Problem Solvers went by for a look.

FOX31’s Erika Gonzalez asked: “We just want to know what your restaurant has done to correct the repeat violations.” An employee said, “Those problems were already approved. They came in and everything was OK.”

Inspectors found weak sanitizing solution when they inspected Tacos Rapidos in January.

Tacos Rapidos spokesman Gustavo Delgadillo said all employees have taken safety training courses.

“Our entire family eats here and we have never been sick,” he said.

Cheesecake Factory

The 16th Street Mall Cheesecake Factory is the 10th-most fined restaurant in Denver with $3,250 in citations. The regional vice president of operations Steve Polce sent the following comment:

“The Cheesecake Factory takes food safety and sanitation very seriously and is committed to providing a safe dining experience to all of our guests. We always strive to improve in any area where we fall short. Our guests can be assured that our food is safe and of the highest quality, and that we have taken immediate action to correct any deficiencies identified during the recent inspection.”

Inspectors cited the restaurant multiple times for not keeping food cold enough.

View a list of the restaurants in Denver with the most food safety inspection fines here.

Inspections for Denver County restaurants can be found here.

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