‘C’ Ratings for Supermarket, Restaurant in Latest Darien Health Inspections

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Two long-standing town institutions, one a restaurant and the other a supermarket, each received “C” ratings, the worst in Darien’s A/B/C health inspection ratings system, in the latest reports released by the town Health Department.

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.

On Thursday, the department released 10 health inspection reports for inspector visits that took place from Jan. 2 to 7, five inspections resulted in a “B” rating and “A” was the rating for two others.

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 establishment 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):

—Darien Diner — 275 Post Road — Jan. 4Town Rating: A — State Score: 93

—Dunkin Donuts — Darien South rest stop, Interstate 95 — Jan. 3Town Rating: B — State Score: 92

—Genji — at Whole Foods Market, 150 Ledge Road — Jan. 4Town Rating: A — State Score: 98

—The Goose American Bistro — 972 Post Road — Jan. 3Town Rating: B — State Score: 92

—Palmer’s Market — 264 Heights Road — Jan. 7Town Rating: C — State Score: 82 — Inspector’s Remarks: “All employees need documented training (handling raw chicken–using same knife and not sanitizing surfaces after); large batches of soup (five-gallon bucket) cooling from previous day 50-59 degrees–chowder and chicken noodle; personal items found around work stations (meds and phones); dish machine not reaching 180 degrees or 160 on plate surface; not changing gloves after handling raw product; must sanitize station after handling raw chicken; labeling violations around kitchen (anything not in original container); non-food contact surfaces shelving/line equipment; appears mop bucket was dumped outside produce door into storm drain–leak at grease receptacle (?) direct line into storm drain; leak under plumbing at three-bay bakery (downstairs); floors in poor repair–chipping/pitted; hood unclean, light covers dripping down over grill (exposed vegetables).” — Inspector’s Comments: “Avoid boxes on prep counters, date-marking discussion with chef, soups improperly cooled disposed of, put thermometer in small noncommercial fridge in bakery, all hand sinks should have waste receptacles, glove changes and hand-washing retraining, monitor temperatures for whole chicken cooking, cover [the] light in ice cream walk-in freezer.”

Inspection report palmer's 01-07-2020

Image from Darien H.D. website

Part of the Jan. 7, 2020 inspection report at Palmer’s Market.

—Post Corner Pizza — 847 Post Road — Jan. 4Town Rating: B — State Score: 91

—Roost Darien — 1950 Post Road — Jan. 3Town Rating: B — State Score: 90

—Scena Wine Bar & Restaurant — REINSPECTION — 1077 Post Road — Jan. 2Town Rating: B — State Score: 90

—Subway — Darien South rest stop, Interstate 95 — Jan. 3Town Rating: A — State Score: 97

—Sugar Bowl — 1033 Post Road — Jan. 3Town Rating: C — State Score: 90 — Inspector’s Remarks: “No documentation for QFO [Qualified Food Operator]. No QFO present; [—#61:] No designated alternate QFO documentation. No alternate QFO present; no employees training documentation; items not stored in original containers need to be labeled with item and use-by date; crack in wooden cutting board on steam table; do not store food items in plastic bags or tattered boxes with tape.” — Inspector’s Comments: “No qualified food operator. One person is currently finishing the managers course prior to taking the test. One other person needs to become a QFO to satisfy debited #61 [see above]. Sanitizer, hand washing, glove use observed. HH [hot holding] soup, 159 [degrees]; home fries, 154 [degrees].”

Sugar Bowl inspection 01-03-2020

Image from the H.D. website

Part of the Jan. 3, 2020 inspection of Sugar Bowl

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 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.

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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.

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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.

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.

Editor’s note: The time stamp for this article was moved 12 hours forward for layout purposes in the Darienite.com newsletter.

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