Two Darien Food-Serving Establishments Get Lowest Rating in Latest Health Inspection Reports

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Two Darien food-serving establishments received the lowest town rating of “C” among the inspection reports released in the past month by Darien Health Department.

One of the two worst-rated, Matsuri Grill at 390 Post Road, has had the lowest (“C”) rating in five of the last six inspections. The last time it had a higher rating (“B”) was in February. Health inspectors made more frequent visits to the establishment in the last two months: coming twice in May and again this month.

Details from the worst-rated eateries (along with an inspection of the kitchen for the Darien Senior Center) and links to the latest information posted about each of the food-serving establishments inspected are listed below, and you can find an article about the ratings system here.

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.

In the list of health inspection results, below, information is listed by name, address, date of inspection, Darien rating, state score, inspector’s comments that led to the state rating and additional remarks on the inspection report.

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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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 like this (“;”) separate individual comments, each one with a particular violation that triggers a point deduction from that perfect state score of 100 points.

Here’s an alphabetical list of the most recently released results of Darien health inspections (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):

  • Little Thai Kitchen — 4 West Ave. — May 17Town Rating: A — State Score: 97
  • Mather Center: Darien Senior Program — 2 Renshaw Road — June 1Town Rating: A — State Score: 98 — Inspector’s Remarks: “Misuse of pre-sink (rinsing utensil).”Inspector’s Comments: “LOOKS Great!”
  • Matsuri Grill — 390 Post Road — June 9Town Rating: C — State Score: 85 — Inspector’s Remarks: “Raw fish stored over RTW in walk-in [cooler]; bare hand upon entry (sushi area); sushi chef rinsing knife in hand sink; sanitizer in bucket not correct in sushi area and sanitizer on the line not strong enough (bleach); dish [washing] machine NOT pulling bleach at correct strength. MUST fix today! (and notify Health Department once serviced/repaired); Not sanitizing cutting board at three-bay, only washing with soap; wiping cloths left on counters (twice) sushi prep area; knives in storage rack unclean in main kitchen; cups used to dispense bulk food items in dry storage area (no handle); cardboard used to cover shelving in walk-in [cooler] and foil used to cover surfaces on equipment; unclean under grill: food debris; hood dripping.” Inspector’s Comments: “Must provide a contract from the outside training service required by the director of health today! Some improvement in hand washing observed by staff. Prep sink will be fixed per manager. Shellfish tags maintained, some minor improvements. Employee training MUST be a priority!!! Including PT [part-time] employees (two new sushi chefs: no documented training). CL soap added to machine and started to pull bleach prior to leaving inspection.”
  • McDonald’s restaurant — Darien South rest stop on Interstate 95 — May 15Town Rating: A — State Score: 97
  • The Melting Pot — 14 Grove St. — June 2Town Rating: B — State Score: 93
  • Palmer’s Market — 264 Heights Road — May 22Town Rating: B — State Score: 88
  • Scena Wine Bar & Restaurant — 1077 Post Road — June 7Town Rating: B — State Score: 91
  • Sono Baking Company — 49 Tokeneke Road — May 17Town Rating: A — State Score: 99
  • Stop & Shop — 148 Heights Road — June 12 — Town Rating: A — State Score: 94
  • Sugar Bowl — 1033 Post Road — June 5Town Rating: A — State Score: 96
  • Sushi by Jay at Stop & Shop — Goodwives Shopping Center at 25 Old Kings Hwy. N. — June 12Town Rating: A — State Score: 96
  • Ten Twenty Post Oyster Bar and Bistro — 1020 Post Road — June 5Town Rating: B — State Score: 91
  • Tengda Asian Bistro — Goodwives Shopping Center at 25 Old Kings Hwy. N. — May 22Town Rating: B — State Score: 90
  • Tokeneke Club main kitchen — 4 Butler’s Island Road — May 18Town Rating: A — State Score: 95
  • Tokeneke Club snack bar — 4 Butler’s Island Road — May 18Town Rating: A — State Score: 94
  • Unidine at Zotos International — 100 Tokeneke Road — June 12Town Rating: C — State Score: 86 — Inspector’s Comments: “New staff member on the line without training documentation; soup holding at 118 to 120 [degrees] on the line (set on low), chicken and farro at 100 degrees hot holding (unit not on); salad fridge frozen over (product temperature at 54 degrees) and two-door refrigerator in kitchen at 55 degrees ambient temperature: product temperature ranging from 50 to 54 degrees; chicken salad at 51 degrees (not cooled before holding); thermometer missing in bain-marie; raw pork stored over ready-to-eat food in two-door low-boy [undercounter refrigerator]; employee with a blue finger cot[?] restocking: no glove; storing spoons in hand sink (twice); no waste receptacle at the hand sink on the line; unclean ceiling vents in kitchen area.”
  • Upper Crust Bakery & Cafe — 980 Post Road — June 2Town Rating: B — State Score: 92
  • Whole Foods Market — 150 Ledge Road — June 5 Town Rating: B — State Score: 92

How Darien’s restaurants are now 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.

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 on this website, and now you can also find copies of inspection reports, including state health code scores in the same place.

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.