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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 Thornton, one failed location in Aurora and a winner in Denver.

3 Margaritas – Thornton location (F)

The Thornton location failed with 15 serious health code violations in December.

3 Margaritas scores 15 serious health code mistakes in December
3 Margaritas scored 15 serious health code mistakes in December

Mistakes included:

  • An employee washed their hands for less than 10 seconds
  • Another employee returned from the restroom without washing their hands
  • Cut lettuce left on dirty towel
  • Soiled towels in use
  • Dirty wire racks, shelves and refrigerators

Assistant manager Heriberto Carreras said, “We have done everything the health department has told us to do. When they return, they will see the violations have been corrected. We are on top of it every day now. We don’t want to have another inspection like the last one.”

3 Margaritas is at East 104th Avenue and Steele Street in Thornton.

Jus’ Grill Restaurant (F)

The restaurant on East Iliff Avenue scored eight serious violations last month, including:

  • Inspector saw brown substance dripping from the stove directly onto French fries
  • The sanitizing solution was so strong, it was toxic
  • The inside of the ice machine was soiled
  • Soiled fly strips were hanging throughout the kitchen

The owner explained the issues, saying they are getting additional training and sent the following comment, in part:

“Our customers’ health and safety are of the utmost importance to us. We continuously encourage and provide additional training in food handling and production, staff at all levels of the restaurant go through rigorous training and certification programs throughout the year to further develop proper food handling habits.”

This Jus’ Grill is located at 17200 E. Iliff Ave. in Aurora.

Noodles & Company – Colfax and Gaylord location (A)

Our highest scoring chain Noodles & Company earns the “A” with two great inspections in a row. This week’s winner is located at the 2205 E. Colfax Ave.

Noodle at 2205 E Colfax In Denver scores A grade
Noodle at 2205 E Colfax In Denver scores A grade

Area manager Chris McNaughton said, “We maintain high standards and procedures when it comes to food safety. We try to empower our team members to ensure we do have the high standards and food safety and to make sure we have a great guest experience when a guest walks in the door. With those elements, it’s really not difficult to get a great score on that inspection. I’m very proud and thankful to have these guys on my team.”

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