Broken Cooler in Cafe Gets It the Lowest Rating — ‘C’ — in Latest Darien Health Inspections

Download PDF

The vendor operating the cafe at Darien YMCA, received a “C” rating, the worst in the town A-B-C ratings system, in the most recently released town Health Department inspection reports.

The sole reason: The open “grab-and-go” cooler case was broken and found to be at 54 degrees.  It didn’t matter that the cafe’s state score was high — 94 — because the nonworking cooler is considered a serious violation under the state health code.

As a result of the Aug. 30 inspection, the cafe was told to immediately stop using the machine and not to use it again until fixed.

Six other health inspection reports were released on Thursday by the department. Three of them received “A” ratings; three others each got a “B.” The inspections took place from Aug. 30 to Sept. 5.

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):

—Coromandel — Goodwives Shopping Center, 25 Old Kings Hwy. North — Aug. 31Town Rating: A — State Score: 95

—Fisherman’s Net — 11 Old Kings Hwy. North — Aug. 31Town Rating: B — State Score: 91

—Little Bites by Jen Maher Food — Darien YMCA, 2420 Post Road — Aug. 30Town Rating: C — State Score: 94 — Inspector’s Remarks: “Product temperature in open grab-and-go case is at 54 degrees. Air temperature is […] elevated more than product temperature; food and beverage stored on the floor (dry storage closet).” — Inspector’s Comments: “Fix unit and move food. Cannot use this case until fixed.”

Inspection Little Bites by Jen Maher

Image from Darien Health Dept. website

Inspector’s comments and remarks part of the inspection of Little Bites by Jen Maher Cafe.


Second part of inspection report for Little Bites Cafe

Image from Darien Health Dept. website

Improper temperatures in cold-holding food cases is a four-point violation in the state health code. This part of the inspection report shows the other four-point violations (Sections 1, 3, 12 and 13).


—Mangia’s Deli — 72 Tokeneke Road — Sept. 5Town Rating: B — State Score: 91

—Papa Joe’s — 1973 Post Road — Sept. 5Town Rating: A — State Score: 93

—Steam — 971 Post Road — Aug. 31Town Rating: B — State Score: 88

—Stop and Shop — REINSPECTION — Goodwives Shopping Center, 25 Old Kings Hwy. North — Sept. 5Town Rating: A — State Score: 100

—Piedmont Associates — 152 Hecker Ave. — Aug. 24Town Rating: A — State Score: 93

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.

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 (“;”) 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.


See also:

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.


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.


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.

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.


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.

Leave a Reply

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