Four Food-Serving Establishments Get Lowest Rating in Latest Darien Health Inspections

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Three Darien food-serving establishments received a grade of “C,” the lowest of the three A-B-C town Health Department ratings, among the 11 most recently released health inspections. 

At least five establishments received an “A” rating — the best in the town’s A-B-C rating system. Among them, one establishment that was rated “C” in one inspection was reinspected days later and receive an “A.” The inspections were conducted from Jan. 18 to 24.

Most Recent Inspection Results

Health Certificate Frosty Bear 01-19-17

Town Health Department ratings certificates are supposed to be displayed prominently, like this one at the Frosty Bear Cafe at Darien Library.

Here’s an alphabetical list of the most recently released health inspection results (an explanation for each part of the list, including links, is just below the list).

Keep in mind that a food-serving establishment with a history of good ratings may occasionally get a poor inspection rating, occasionally the best do, and every restaurant normally gets a few things wrong (an explanation of how this list is put together is immediately below it):

—Chez Ernie’s Cafe — 25 Tokeneke Road — Jan. 20Town Rating: information not given — State Score: 92

—Darien Diner — 275 Post Road — Jan. 23 Town Rating: A — State Score: 96

—Dunkin Donuts — 967 Post Road — Jan. 20Town Rating: B — State Score: 87

—Four Forks — 7 Tokeneke Road — Jan. 19Town Rating: A — State Score: 96

—Hibachi Sushi Ya — 111 Old Kings Hwy. North — Jan. 23 Town Rating: C — State Score: 96 — Inspector’s Remarks: “Raw chicken stored over RTE [ready-to-eat] foods in low bain marie; rinsing hands in three-bay [sink] after taking out trash; no sanitizer at red bucket on the line and very little 10 ppm [parts per million] bleach in sushi area red bucket; wiping cloth in murky water; multiple food-contact surfaces unclean … not busy, interior of walk-in [cooler] shelving unclean; ladies restroom hand sink water at 130 degrees (max[imum] temperature is [mandated to be] 115 degrees for a public restroom); painters tape used on bain marie … menu?; floors unclean on the line, walk-in [cooler] and bar area; hood system in back and hibachi stations dripping, unclean walls in prep area, ceiling dripping over ice bin [in] service area; no venting in the restrooms … no windows.” — Inspector’s Comments: “Extremely strong odor in the walk-in. Floors and shelving need to be cleaned and sanitized. Hose connected to three-bay sink … owner disconnected during inspection. Please review prior established hand-washing and sanitization practices with employees.”

Hibachi Sushi Ya Jan 23 2018

Image from Darien Health Dept. website

Inspector’s remarks and comments sections of the Jan. 23 inspection of Hibachi Sushi Ya.

 

—Hindley School — 10 Nearwater Lane — Jan. 24Town Rating: A — State Score: 98 — Inspector’s Remarks: “Droppings observed in cold-holding front unit (Avon pest control recently on site, Jan. 16).” Inspector’s Comments: “Hand-washing observed and glove use observed!”

—Little Bites by Jen Maher Food — 2420 Post Road — Jan. 18Town Rating: A — State Score: 94

—New Beijing Restaurant — 5 Tokeneke Road — Jan. 20 — Town Rating: C — State Score: 68 Inspector’s Remarks: “Improperly cooling chicken and ribs at room temperature; thermometer for bain marie located in back corner of unit; bare-hand contact while making wontons; hands not washed after touching phone; cell phone on prep table; sanitizer not set up; bleach does not have mixing instructions for food contact surfaces or EPA [federal Environmental Protection Agency] Reg[ulation] number; moist wiping cloths not stored in sanitizer between use; soap dispensers at hand sinks not working properly; no waste receptacle at hand wash sink; unlabeled chemical spray bottle; PHF [potentially hazardous food] thawing at room temp[erature]; food bins on floor in kitchen and in walk-in cooler; knife wedged between bain marie and table; take-out bags used for food storage; large single-service bags reused; boxes of single-service items on floor in basement; cup used as scoop stored in bulk-food product; shelving rusty/peeling in walk-in cooler; upright freezer door held shut with bungee cord (working properly).”

NOTE: The inspection was performed on Jan. 20, with a hand-written inspection report prepared. The report was typed up, then posted on the Health Department website on Jan. 23. Here is the typed version:

Jan twenty inspection New Beijing

Typed version of the Jan. 20 inspection of New Beijing Restaurant.

 

—Springdale Athletic Club — 2 Camp Ave. — Jan. 18 — Town Rating: C — State Score: 85 — Inspector’s Remarks: “Moldy produce lettuce, eggplant, strawberries, rosemary); no food thermometer; food stored on the floor; misuse of only hand sink—storing items; slicer, microwave and several knives stored unclean; no soap or paper towels at hand sink; no test strips for quat sanitizer tablets used at the three-bay sink; hood system dripping down the back wall to the floor.” — Inspector’s Comments: “QFO [usual meaning: Qualified Food Operator in Connecticut]? Grease from fryer emptied back into original container and taken away by a dumpster employee per chef.”

—Springdale Athletic Club reinspection — 2 Camp Ave. — Jan. 24 — Town Rating: A — State Score: 96

—Uncle’s Deli —1041 Post Road — Jan. 20Town Rating: C — State Score: 83 — Inspector’s Remarks: “Meatballs and sauce on steam table, 112 degrees, 130 degrees, not reheated properly (taken off steam table to be reheated to 165 degrees); raw shell eggs above RTE [ready-to-eat food] in refrigerator; uncovered nested foods; unlabeled chemical spray bottles; cup stored in bulk food product; garbage bag used to store rolls in walk-in cooler; shelving rusty in walk-in cooler; broken/taped bulk food container lid; shelving dirty in walk-in cooler; no test strips available to check concentration of sanitizer; floor under shelving in walk-in cooler not clean.” — Inspector’s Comments: “Rating not posted.”

Dates link to the food establishment’s inspection report referenced here (when available, sometimes it takes a while to get posted online), and Darien’s own A/B/C ratings link to a Web page showing several of the restaurant’s recent inspection ratings.

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See also:

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For restaurants and other food-serving establishments rated “C,” and for some others of interest to the public (like schools) additional information is given. When we provide that information here, then words within brackets (“[ ]”) have been added for clarity by Darienite.com; semicolons (“;”) separate individual comments by the inspectors. Each comment separated by semicolons is about a particular violation that triggers a deduction of one or more points from a perfect state score of 100.

How Darien’s Food-Serving Places Are Rated

Restaurants in town are rated under the Darien Health Department’s own A/B/C ratings system. Health inspectors also use the state health code regulations to score restaurants, with a perfect score set at 100, and demerits (of 1 to 4 points each) for various code violations.

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The Darien system takes into account problems that are ongoing, so a restaurant scoring higher than others on the state scale may actually get a lower score on the Darien scale.

Health Department Health Inspections Health Reports

The “A”, “B” and “C” letter grades a restaurant gets in its last inspection will be prominent on these certificates, which must be posted where customers can see them, and you can use your phone and the “QR” code to the right of the letter grade to get to the department’s ratings website for more information.

 

You can find the past several inspection ratings under the Darien ratings system for food-serving establishments along with copies of inspection reports, including state health code scores on this website.

Any establishment actually deemed unsafe can be closed by the town Health Department until violations are fixed. Town Health Director David Knauf says that has never happened in the time he’s been with the department.