Darien Health Department Suspends Health Grades System for Eateries After State Adopts New Inspection Code

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Darien Health Department has suspended its A-B-C grading system for restaurant inspections now that the state Public Health Department has replaced its numerical ratings for the inspections, the town department announced on Thursday.

The old system didn’t rely entirely on the state numerical ratings, but the ratings played a huge role in the town’s A-B-C grades. Until the local Health Department figures out a new way to give out grades after health inspections, there won’t be any town grades.

Instead of the grades posted on the walls of restaurants and other eating establishments in town, restaurants will post, in the same spot, a “notice informing customers that inspection reports are available for viewing upon request,” the department said in a news release.  “This notice includes a QR Code link to the [town] Health Department website where inspection reports may be viewed.”

Health Department Inspection Reports Restaurants

OUT WITH THE OLD? We’ll have to wait and see whether these forms for the town grading system are replaced as the town Health Department figures out how the state’s adoption of a new ratings system can be used to get the A-B-C grades. Until then, a notice with a QR code will be posted in the same places at restaurants, and diners can use it to get to the restaurant’s ratings report.

The ratings are expected to be reinstated “at some point in the near future,” according to the department.

The Connecticut Public Health Department is replacing “all previous state regulations pertaining to food safety” with a new code for food safety regulations put out by the federal Food and Drug Administration, the announcement said.

SEE ALSO: “One Food-Serving Establishment Gets a Dunkin’ in Latest Health Inspection Reports” (the latest and, apparently, last inspection reports under the old system)

“As a result, there will be several changes in the inspection and permitting process for all food service facilities across the state,” the Darien announcement said. Here’s how the announcement described the changes:

“A new FDA-based inspection form will be used which does not provide a numerical score, but has violations categorized according to the risk potential for causing food-borne illness.

“Violations cited during inspections are categorized as ‘Priority,’ ‘Priority Foundation,’ and ‘Core’ aligning with the risk of food-borne illness associated with the violation. A specific period of time within which a cited violation shall be resolved and subject to re-inspection or verification will be provided, with the time for compliance dependent on the risk to public health. […]

“The information presented above is only a small portion of the changes that will take place relative to the adoption of the FDA Food Code.

Anyone interested may visit the Darien Health Department’s web pages on the town government website (here’s the home page for the Health Department). The department said it “will be updating it regularly with information as it becomes available.”

Anyone with questions about the changes should “feel free to contact us at 203-656-7320.”

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