Denver, CO: Restaurant Report Card – Focus on Food Trucks

By   |  Fox 31 Denver



DENVER — Food trucks are popping up all across the metro area. But how safe is the food? FOX31 Denver followed health inspectors as they searched through food trucks, looking for critical violations.

“We’ve had a pretty good history of the trucks doing a decent job,” inspector Kristi Kelley said.

But Kelley did find some food truck operators making mistakes that could make you sick.

At “Crazy Good” inspectors discovered moldy cheese and fish held at 80 degrees.

“Pinche Tacos” truck was cited for no bleach or sanitizer and for keeping potentially hazardous food at the wrong temperature.

Then there’s “Quiero Arepas,” that truck was using sanitizer so strong it could be toxic and the beef was too warm.

“Keeping cold things cold and hot things hot is very important.” Kelley told us temperature violations are the most common problem in trucks and can cause food poisoning. “You get a very high potential for bacteria growth or if some other contaminate has been introduced you just get this wonderful warm, environment for things to grow and get people sick.”

The serious violations were found at the “Bistro Bus,” and “Uber Sausage.” Both trucks were shut down by health inspectors due to no running water. So if the food handlers sneeze, coughs or goes to the bathroom, there is no way to wash their hands.

That’s why “hand washing is definitely a major concern,” according to Kelley.

Still, when it comes to food safety, health inspectors say most food trucks are compliant.

Kelley is so confident about the cleanliness, she doesn’t just inspect the trucks – she eats at them. “I don’t have any personal concerns about being a consumer at most of these trucks,” she said.

Before you eat at a food truck, try to peek inside the window and make sure there is a sink, soap and towels.

Keep in mind, in Colorado, food handlers are required to wash their hands and wear gloves.

And if your food is lukewarm, that could mean it was held at the wrong temperature.

Here is the breakdown of the food truck inspections at Civic Center EATS in Denver:

Three Critical Violations:

  1. Bistro Bus – Closure (hands not wash-sink used for storage, no hot/cold water, no soap).
  2.  Pinche Tacos (food held too cold, pork shoulder not cold enough, no bleach or sanitizer)
  3. Quiero Arepas  (scoop no handle, beef to cold, sanitizer too strong)
  4. Crazy Good (moldy cheese, 6lbs Fish disposed of held not warm enough, potatoes held too warm)
  5. Uber Sausage — Closure (No hot water, sink not accessible, sanitizer measured 400-twice what it should)

Two Critical violations

  1. Street Easts (sanitizer too strong, plan for beef patties that are vacuum pkg)
  2. Primo pizza (cheese too warm, no food thermometer) two non critical –pizza boxes stored on the ground
  3. Green Giraffe  (no food therm, no paper towels)  two no critical –no test strips
  4. Little India  (cheese too warm, Food held not warm enough)

One Critical Violation

  1. Sully Slice Truck
  2. Steuben’s
  3. Vegan Van

No Violations

  1. Manna From Heaven
  2. Mikes2 Kitchen
  3. N Z’s Smokin Guns
  4. Cotta Peddler
  5. Route 40 Catering

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