DENVER, CO – Denver food trucks are bouncing back from high hand-washing health violations with increased attention and regulation from health inspectors.

Of the 416 food trucks and carts in Denver inspected by the Department of Environmental Health from April 2014 to April 2015, about 28 percent faced health violations.

Violations at those 118 mobile establishments ranged from employees leaving their water bottles near the food preparation to spoiled cheese sitting on counters.

A Denver Post investigation looking from June 2013 to June 2014 found 41 percent of health inspections had a hand-washing problem.

One year later, that number is down to about 34 percent, a 17 percent reduction in those violations.

Denver chef David Allen was cooking up ideas at Wynkoop Brewing Co. when he decided last year to switch gears and hitch a ride on the food truck trend.

“A brick-and-mortar restaurant is a lot harder work, and this way, I can bring the food to the people,” he said.

A self-declared “Southern boy,” Allen wanted to serve up a modern version of the comfort food he grew up with. His truck, Scratch Comfort Food, was born. He built a good deal of the truck by hand, keeping health regulations in mind as he did.

Danica Lee, food safety section manager for the Department of Environmental Health, said there are challenges unique to food trucks and carts that rack up the most violations: maintaining the proper food temperatures and hand-washing.

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