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Denver Public Health & Environment Names Best Restaurants for Food Safety Practices

Denver Restaurant Week starts Friday; Partners in Food Safety helps you pick safest dining choices; while online tool allows you to view food inspection reports

The Denver Department of Public Health & Environment (DDPHE) is here to help cut through hundreds of menus during the 16th Annual Denver Restaurant Week to single out the best choices for safe food operations.

Partners in Food Safety is a DDPHE program designed to recognize Denver food facilities that consistently promote and maintain excellent food safety practices. Safe food means your stomach won’t regret your choices hours or even days after eating out.

Partners in Food Safety was created by Public Health Investigations, the division of Denver Public Health & Environment (DDPHE) responsible for ensuring that food service establishments, child care facilities, body art establishments, pools and more are complying with Denver’s laws. The program is meant to increase community awareness and safety, provide positive incentives to retail food establishments and to build relationships with food facility owners, operators, managers and staff.

The bar is high. Of the nearly 5,000 regulated retail food establishments in Denver, only 15% typically qualify for the Partners in Food Safety Award. “Food establishments” include restaurants, food trucks, bakeries, convenience stores, and food vendors and cafeterias in facilities such as schools and airports. The criteria to become eligible for the program are rigorous:

  • No more than two critical violations per inspection on the last two inspections
  • Must offer a formal training program for all food handling employees
  • No fines issued within the last 12 months
  • No foodborne illness outbreaks within the last 12 months
  • Must score at least 50 points on the Active Managerial Control Evaluation. This evaluation measures purposeful, preventative actions taken by a food establishment to attain control over foodborne illness risk factors

Food facilities that qualify for this award are doing their part to reduce foodborne illnesses and outbreaks. Each year, one in six Americans, or 48 million people, will experience sickness from a foodborne illness. When two or more people contract the same illness from the same contaminated food or drink, the event is called a foodborne illness outbreak.

Food that is mishandled can lead to foodborne illness. While the United States has one of the safest food supplies in the world, preventing foodborne illness remains a major public health challenge. DDPHE’s Public Health Investigations team performs proactive, thorough inspections designed to reduce the incidence of food-borne illness, or food poisoning, as well as provide education to those working with food, investigation of complaints, enforcement of regulations that affect the safety of food, and education of consumers about food safety.

Denver Public Health Investigations announced 51 restaurant Partners in Food Safety in 2019. Food trucks, schools and other food service establishments, like hospitals, also quality. A food establishment may retain their designation as a Partner in Food Safety for as long as they meet the criteria listed previously.

Restaurants participating in Denver Restaurant Week that are also Partners in Food Safety:

  • Il Posto, 2601 Larimer St.
  • Los Chingones, 10155 E. 29th Dr.
  • Max Gill and Grill, 1052 S. Gaylord St.
  • True Food Kitchen, 2800 E. 2nd Ave.
  • Bubba Gump Shrimp, 1437 California St.
  • Liberati, 2403 Champa St.

Here’s a full list of 2019 Partners in Food Safety. Additional Partners in Food Safety are announced as they are designated.

And while being a Partner in Food Safety is a special honor, Denver is home to other outstanding food establishments. But before you make your reservation, see how they’re doing by checking our inspection report database. You can view reports that go back nearly 20 years.

Apply to be a Partner in Food Safety and Denver Public Health Investigations will follow up within 30 days.