Restaurants in Denver will have to pay higher fines for food safety infractions under new regulations recently approved by the City Council that went into effect over the weekend, the Denver Post reports.
The Denver Environmental Health Public Inspections Division and the Colorado Restaurant Association worked on the new regulations, which no longer require restaurants to post certain food safety violations in their window.
If a restaurant repeats the same “critical violation” within a year the facility will receive a $250 fine, if inspectors find the same critical violation once more the fine doubles to $500.
“The new regulations continue to impose swift action against restaurants that pose imminent public-health risks. Those establishments are closed immediately and fined $2,000, and a notice of enforcement outlining the violation is posted on the front door or window,” according to The Post.
Under the old system, restaurants had to post all food safety violations–even ones that were not considered critical, like not wearing a hat–in their windows for a month.
“The 30-day posting was kind of a scarlet letter that really had an adverse effect on business,” Pete Meersman, president and chief executive of the Colorado Restaurant Association told the paper. “We worked with the health department to see if there wasn’t a better way to accomplish what we all wanted, which is clean sanitary restaurants where there isn’t any food-borne illness.”
Local restaurant patrons who want to know look up restaurant food safety violations should visit the environmental health department’s database here.