Two Food-Serving Establishments Get Worst Rating — ‘C’ — in Latest Darien Health Inspection Reports

Health Certificate Frosty Bear 01-19-17

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

Download PDF

Two Darien food-serving establishments received the lowest rating (“C”) — in the latest five health inspection reports released by Darien Health Department.

One other establishment received a middling grade of “B” and two others each got the highest rating (“A”).

The inspections took place between Aug. 16 and 22.

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):

— Chipotle Mexican Grill — 71 Post Road — Aug. 21 — Town Rating: A — State Score: 94

— Darien Diner — 275 Post Road — Aug. 16Town Rating: C — State Score: 81Inspector’s Remarks: “New employees working in the kitchen [have] no documentation of training; end of custom cold-holding case not maintaining product temperature (meatloaf, meatballs and cheese at 50 degrees); large batches cooling covered from previous day (two large tubs of home fries at 53 and 54 [degrees] and rice at 50 degrees); thermometer missing in custom cold holding case; large batch pooling of shelled eggs; food stored on the floor (walk-in freezer); using personal phone outside with gloves on—[employee should make] entry back into kitchen with a glove change or hand wash; misuse of hand sinks on the line (dumping/rinsing utensils); no covered waste in ladies’ restroom or employee restroom; back door open upon entry to kitchen.” — Inspector’s Comments: “Plumber called for leak at three-bay [sink]—should be on site today per assistant manager. Labels needed. Also, dumpster lid discussion with manager. Training template (state form) and outline of correct cooling procedures left for review and to implement staff training.”

— Heights Pizza — 330 Heights Road — Aug. 18 — Town Rating: A — State Score: 93

— New Beijing Restaurant — 5 Tokeneke Road — Aug. 21 — Town Rating: B — State Score: 92

— Vavala’s Delicatessan/Caterer — 156 Heights Road — Aug. 22Town Rating: C — State Score: 80 — Inspector’s Remarks: “Food stored on the floor in dry storage area and walk-in fridge; bare-hand contact with RTE [ready-to-eat] foods at the sandwich station; no glove change or hand washing after using the phone and no hand washing after taking out the trash; unclean hand sink and wiping cloths on sinks and left on counters; no saniti[zing] bucket setups near slicers/sandwich stations and once set up, during inspection, only around 10 ppm [parts per million concentration level]; not sanitizing dishes at the three-bay [sink]—only rinsing with soap and water; prep[aration] counters unclean—raw chicken prep area not sanitized; no bleach test strips; grease buildup around fryer and stove top; fruit flies observed near prep sinks, mop sink, dry storage and restroom. Exterminator report required; broken tiles, floors unclean under equipment in the kitchen; hood dripping, unclean walls in prep areas, wall in poor repair—sheetrock missing.” — Inspector’s Comments: “Discussion topics with mgr [manager] in charge: Cutlets left out on counter—time holding during busy lunch at 100 degrees? Odor from grease trap—date of last pump-out service? Frequency of trash service? Piled up so dumpster lid won’t close. Tape used on plastic bread tubs. Training of employees?? Owner is away till Friday.”

Vavalas inspection health dept 08-25-17

Part of Aug. 22 Health Department inspection of Vavala’s Delicatessen/Caterer


In the list of health inspection results above, 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.


See also:


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; semicolons like this (“;”) separate individual comments by the inspectors. Each comment is about a particular violation that triggers a deduction of one or more points from a perfect state score of 100.

How Darien’s Restaurants 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.


Like this article? …


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.

One thought on “Two Food-Serving Establishments Get Worst Rating — ‘C’ — in Latest Darien Health Inspection Reports

  1. Pingback: Restaurant and a Country Club Each Get Lowest Health Inspection Rating of 'C' - DarieniteDarienite

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *