Regular town health inspections at food-serving establishments have restarted with a bang (actually three of them) with one Darien restaurant getting a “C” rating, and then another one and another — a total of three times in the 14 days from June 23 to July 7.
The rating is the worst grade in the town Health Department’s A/B/C ratings system.
The inspections had been suspended for months as the Health Department adopted a different set of procedures to help and monitor food-serving establishments for the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The department released health inspection reports for 11 food-serving establishments on Thursday for inspections that took place from June 23 to July 7. Six inspections resulted in an “A” rating and four others received a “B.” Thai Time restaurant in Goodwives Shopping Center received the three “C” ratings.
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.
Here’s an alphabetical list of the most recently released health inspection results (an explanation of how this list is put together is immediately below it):
—Thai Time — Goodwives Shopping Center, 25 Old Kings Hwy. North — THREE INSPECTION REPORTS:
— — June 23— Town Rating: C — State Score: 81 — INSPECTOR’S REMARKS: “No qualified food operator present; no alternate QFO [Qualified Food Operator] present; training documentation for employees not provided; raw food items stored above and/or adjacent to RTE [ready-to-eat] FOODS in bain-marie and reach-in freezer; items stored in hand sink: corrected; sanitizer needs to be set up at all times in multiple areas: corrected; no sanitizer set up: corrected; label items not stored in original containers; do not store food items in open metal containers. Once opened, transfer to an approved storage container; dish[washing] machine leaking.” — INSPECTOR’S COMMENTS: “Fourth visit to establishment within last two weeks to get them to self-certify for COVID-19 and there hasn’t been any type of person in charge during any of the visits. They are open for take-out and delivery only. Who is in charge here? Establishment is relatively clean with the exception of the hood filters. Three employees working at time of inspection. Sanitizer needs to be set up at start of business and changed, as needed. Gloves and masks worn. Only prep [food preparation] taking place during inspection. Rice was 189 [degrees] and 166 [degrees]. No other hot-holding. Needs to reorganize upright freezer.”
— — July 3 — Town Rating: C — State Score: 84 — INSPECTOR’S REMARKS: “No QFO [Qualified Food Operator] present?; alternate QFO?; no documentation of training; raw foods stored over RTE [ready-to-eat] foods in upright; food left uncovered during storage; food consumption in kitchen; sanitizer needs to be set up; items not stored in original containers need to be labeled; dish machine leaking; back door open with openings in screen.” — INSPECTOR’S COMMENTS: “Not too many improvements from last inspection. There is no one in charge in the kitchen. Gloves, masks worn. No activity other than some prep [food preparation]. Manager claims testing process underway. There is a language barrier between manager and HD [town Health Department].
— — July 7 — Town Rating: C — State Score: 82 — INSPECTOR’S REMARKS: “No documented training for line chef; fresh garlic and oil mixture cannot be at room temperature (sitting out at 78 degrees); trying to cool large amount of boiled chicken in bain-marie at 64 degrees, cooked tofu cooling at 58 degrees; no sanitizer in bucket or at three-bay (no jug connected). Quat jug found in closet and connected during inspection; knives should be stored clean, sticky rice containers stored unclean; label containers on the line; shrimp thawing at room temperature; food items stored in non-food-grade plastic tubs and red spatula in poor repair; leak under dishwasher, catching water in plastic tub; hood filters unclean, dripping; personal phone out on prep counter.” — Inspector’s Comments: “Line chef without mask and other employee (manager) with a mask not over nose and mouth! Three-bay sink grease trap not plugged in [“Still not done” said a hand-written note on the copy of the report sent to Darienite.com on Thursday.], employee training??? Wearing gloves outside? Employee completed the food handlers course on July 1. Self-certification badge not posted. 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.
Additional information is given for restaurants and other food-serving establishments rated “C,” and for some others of interest to the public (like schools). 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.
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.
- Our previous article showing restaurant inspection ratings (March 12)
- STAMFORD online health inspection results
- NORWALK online health inspection ratings (explanation of ratings)
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.
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.