How Darien School Cafeteria Kitchens Fared in Recent Health Inspections

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Here’s how all seven Darien public school cafeterias were rated in town Health Department inspections in September, released by the department on Thursday and last week.

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.

Darien’s school cafeterias typically get excellent ratings, and the inspections this month were no different. Each school received the town’s top rating (“A”), with one or two code violations.

One school cafeteria — at Ox Ridge School — had a perfect 100 score, with no violations found. It’s common for one or two of the town’s schools to get a perfect score when the seven schools are inspected.

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.

The “Inspector’s comments” section in each report simply provide more information about the cafeteria, including more information on temperatures of various foods. The “remarks” section shows the violations that resulted in deductions from a perfect score of 100.

These results from school cafeteria inspections were released on Thursday by the town Health Department, except for the reports for Darien High School and Ox Ridge School, which were released last week (an explanation of how to read this list is immediately below it):

  • The most recent inspection results from other food-serving places in Darien can be found here.

—Darien High School — High School Lane — Sept. 13Town Rating: A — State Score: 97 — Inspector’s Remarks: “Food item not labeled in walk-in cooler (corrected); inside of ice machine door is cracked/broken (needs to be replaced).” — Inspector’s Comments: “Very good practices in place. Clean, organized. Only added staff member is from another school and had management training. No new equipment. Broken door in ice maker needs to be addressed.”

DHS health inspection report Sept 13 2019

Image from Darien H.D. website

Sept. 13, 2019 inspection report for Darien High School Cafeteria

—Hindley School —10 Nearwater Lane  — Sept. 9Town Rating: A — State Score: 99 — Inspector’s remarks: “Do not keep employee bathroom door propped open (corrected).” — Inspector’s comments: “Great way to start the new school year. Clean, organized. No new staff. Head of food service for schools on hand during inspection. There is a sign on bathroom to keep [the door] closed.”

Inspection Hindley cafeteria 9'9/19

Image from the Darien H.D. website

Part of the Sept. 9 inspection report for Hindley School cafeteria.

—Holmes School — 18 Hoyt St. — Sept. 16Town Rating: A — State Score: 99 — Inspector’s remarks: “Mixing bowls not stored inverted.” — Inspector’s comments: “Excellent inspection. Really good labeling practices. New fans and exterior thermostat installed in walk-in freezer. Rolling carts also added to walk-in to alleviate storing items on floor.”

Holmes cafeteria inspection 9/16/19

Image from the H.D. website

Part of the report from the Sept. 16 inspection of Holmes School cafeteria

—Middlesex Middle School — 204 Hollow Tree Ridge Road — Sept. 20Town Rating: A — State Score: 98 — Inspector’s remarks: “Make sure thermometer is sanitized after use.” — Inspector’s comments: “Very clean. Very organized. Excellent labeling. Hot water at hand sinks, 157 [degrees]. Diligent hand washing and glove-use practices.”

Middlesex school cafeteria inspection 9/20/19

Image from the H.D. website

Part of the 8:20 a.m., Sept. 20 inspection of Middlesex Middle School cafeteria

—Ox Ridge School — 395 Mansfield Ave. — Sept. 13Town Rating: A — State Score: 100 — (Inspector remarks and comments sections are not included on the Darien Health Department website when an establishment receives a perfect score.)

—Royle School — 133 Mansfield Ave. — Sept. 9Town Rating: A — State Score: 98 — Inspector’s remarks: “Cracked/broken salad spinner in storage (removed).” — Inspector’s comments: “Another great start to a new school year. Clean, organized, good labeling practiced. All logs, hot and cold, kept. Burger, 148 [degrees]; ribs, 182 [degrees]; pizza in warmer, 208 [degrees]; cole slaw, 38 [degrees].”

Royle School cafeteria inspection 9/9/19

Image from Darien H.D. website

Part of the report of the 1:10 p.m., Sept. 9 inspection of Royle School cafeteria

—Tokeneke School — 7 Old Farm Road — Sept. 16Town Rating: A — State Score: 98 — Inspector’s remarks: “Wooden board taped to student side of steam table to prevent skin burns; handle of tongs in contact with food item in steam table (corrected: cleaned and sanitized).” — Inspector’s comments: “Good inspection. Good labeling practices.”

Tokeneke cafeteria inspection 9/16/19

Part of the 8:50 a.m., Sept. 16 inspection of Tokeneke School cafeteria

How to Read This Inspection Information

School cafeterias, restaurants and other food-serving establishments 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.

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 school’s recent inspection ratings.

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.

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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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