Two Darien Restaurants Get Worst Health Rating Among Eight Latest Inspections

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Two Darien restaurants received the lowest town rating of “C” in the eight Department inspection reports released this week by Darien Health Department.

The inspections were done between Wednesday, May 3 and Tuesday, May 9. Details from the two worst-rated eateries and links to the latest information posted about each of the eight food-serving establishments 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):

  • Abello’s Deli — 72 Tokeneke Road — May 6 — Town Rating: B  — State Score: 86
  • Beijing Restaurant — 5 Tokeneke Road — May 9 — Town Rating: A — State Score: 93
  • Estia’s Back Porch Cafe — 1020 Post Road — May 9 — Town Rating: A — State Score: 94
  • Hibachi Sushi Ya — 111 Old Kings Hwy. North — May 4 — Town Rating: C — State Score: 79 — Inspector’s Remarks: “No training for any staff members in the kitchen—QFO [Qualified Food Operator training and certification] is owner, not handling food; raw meat stored over ready-to-eat [food] and raw proteins mixed on same sheet pan, all wrapped in Saran wrap—refrigeration not organized properly; not using soap to wash hands, inadequate hand washing practices observed, no pump to dispense soap at hand sink; misuse of sink: rinsing hands in prep sinks and three-bay sink, and mold growth in two hand sinks; no sanitizer found on the line during inspection; cutting boards and prep counters not sanitized after use; unclean wiping cloths left on prep counters; microwaves & refrigerators left unclean, knives in storage area unclean; granular product not labeled in main kitchen and sushi bar area; nonfood contact surfaces unclean (shelving/storage areas); leak at three-bay prep sink and faucet leaking at three-bay sanitizer sinks; dumpster lids not covered during inspection; walk-in [refrigerator] floors unclean; ceiling near the cook line and back prep area has peeling paint.” — Inspector’s Comments: “Blast chiller in use of sushi fish, owner was left with training sheet template, assisted staff with setting up sanitizer buckets (surface cleaning) and submerging cutting boards to adequately sanitize. Discussion with owner and staff about use of sinks: where to wash hands, wash produce and sanitize utensils/equipment.”
Hibachi Sushi Yah 05-12-17

Image from Darien Health Department website

Part of the report of the May 4 Darien Health Department inspection of Hibachi Sushi Ya restaurant

  • Jennifer’s Kitchen @ White Bridge — 284 Tokeneke Road — May 5 — Town Rating: B — State Score: 90
  • Little Thai Kitchen — 4 West Ave. — May 8 — Town Rating: C — State Score: 85 — Inspector’s Remarks: “Raw meat stored over ready-to-eat [food] and sauces ([in the] walk-in cooler); food uncovered in kitchen (not busy) and dry storage (nuts); after using the phone outside and coming back into the kitchen and going into the walk-in, no hand washing; wiping cloth stored on hand sink: upon entry into kitchen; dish [washing] machine pulling 200 ppm [parts per million] of bleach (must be around 50); ice scoop stored on tray and cup stored in sugar; cutting boards in poor repair (red) and prep area cart with large gouge; strong odor from grease trap; wall behind the line unclean and water wash hood system black.”
Little Thai Kitchen May 8 2017 05-12-17

Little Thai Kitchen inspection report from May 8 visit from Darien Health Department inspector

  • Planet Pizza — 882 Post Road — May 6 — Town Rating: B — State Score: 87
  • Post Corner Pizza — 847 Post Road — May 3 — Town Rating: A — 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.