Darien Restaurant, Supermarket Each Get Lowest Health Rating — ‘C’ — in Latest Inspections

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.

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A Darien restaurant and a supermarket in town each received a “C” rating (the worst) in the six most recent health inspection reports released by the Darien Health Department.

Each of the other four food-serving establishments, received “B” ratings in the inspections that took place from Aug. 17 to 22. None received an “A.”

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.

Editor’s note: Links to the Stamford and Norwalk online health inspections for restaurants are now included below and will be included in future reports on Darien health inspections. Although all local health departments use the state rating system, each department may vary in the way it interprets rules. Norwalk reports its 1-to-3 “Lighthouse” local ratings; Stamford lists violations and the points deducted for each.

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):

—Atria Darien — 50 Ledge Road — Aug. 21Town Rating: B — State Score: 92

—Jennifer’s Kitchen at White Bridge — 284 Tokeneke Road — Aug. 20Town Rating: B — State Score: 91

—Post Corner Pizza — REINSPECTION — 847 Post Road — Aug. 17Town Rating: B — State Score: 93

—Springdale Athletic Club — 2 Camp Ave. — Aug. 20Town Rating: B — State Score: 88

—Steam — 971 Post Road — Aug. 17Town Rating: C — State Score: 71 — Inspector’s Remarks: “No QFO [Qualified Food Operator] on site; several new employees, no food training; not washing produce; bare-hand with produce upon entry; washing hands in prep sink; no sanitizer set up during busy prep/start of lunch; some equipment left unclean: microwave, mixer, knives, dumpling machine parts (?); labeling violations (plastic unlabeled container, [contents?] not in original [container?]); thawing food on the counter; split wood on the prep table (uncleanable); gasket in poor repair: hanging off/damage; invert single service containers; waste water frozen on food, water dripping from hole in ceiling; both sets of doors open … flies in kitchen; both sets of doors open (main door and kitchen entry doors); hole in ceiling … near prep sink (plastic trash bags in place); personal phone left on the scale in prep area. — Inspector’s Comments: “Water wash hood without water in it, mop hung outside, gloves used for?, small portion of wontons in bain marie at 55 degrees (storage issue). Owner Mr. Lee arrived on site during the inspection. Lengthy discussion about the repair to the ceiling/water damage and the need for employee training and QFO leadership. Mr. Lee will contact Mr. Chu to arrange a training for all kitchen employees. It was agreed that in two weeks time he would be able to complete a comprehensive training program with all staff.”

Inspection Steam restaurant Aug 20 2018

Image from Darien H. Dept. website

Inspector’s comments and remarks section of Aug. 20 inspection report for Steam


—Stop and Shop — Goodwives Shopping Center, 25 Old Kings Hwy. North — Aug. 22Town Rating: C — State Score: 83 — Inspector’s Remarks: “Food left uncovered in bakery and fish uncovered in seafood walk-in, ice not protected and covered in seafood department; food containers stored on the freezer walk-in floor; employee not washing hands or changing gloves moving from the shelved product on the floor to slicing meat and making wraps in the deli; slicers unclean and not completely broken down and sanitized every four hours after use; microwave in bakery unclean, slicer not clean/scales in deli area; no paper towels at the hand sink located between deli and seafood departments; tape used on display [in] self-service unit bakery, tape on electrical cord plugged into wall … deli cook line. Heavy ice buildup inside walk-in freezer; unclean non-food-contact surfaces throughout deli area and the raw chicken walk-in cooler door and handle unclean; three-bay sink in meat department produce prep[aration] area hand sink and three-bay sink all leaking … strong odor from grease trap under three-bay sink in the deli; fruit flies observed near mop bucket in bakery (replace mop head); floors unclean in produce walk-in/prep area.” — Inspector’s Comments: “Store management has recently changed. No information provided during inspection about store leadership. Several new employees in the deli area … written documentation of training required.”

Image from Darien H.Dept. website

Inspector’s remarks and comments section of Aug. 22 inspection of Stop and Shop at Goodwives Shopping Center


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.


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.


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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. Town Health Director David Knauf says that has never happened in the time he’s been with the department.

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