How Darien Schools and Restaurants Fared in the Latest Town Health Inspections

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Here’s how almost all Darien schools fared in Darien Health Department’s recent inspections, along with two food-serving establishments in town.

The eight inspections occurred from  Oct. 3 to 10.

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.

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):

  • Editor’s note: The only school without a new inspection report made public this fall is Middlesex Middle School. When that comes out, it will be published here.

—Darien High School — High School Lane — Oct. 5Town Rating: A — State Score: 97 — Inspector’s Remarks: “Drinks stored on floor in walk-in cooling unit; dust buildup on fan in service area.” — Inspector’s Comments: “A sanitizer OK. Proper labeling in storage. Allergens labeled on grab-and-go items. Glove use, hand washing observed. Abundant glove changes. All temp[erature]s good. Breakfast burrito (150 [degrees]),  BEC[?]   (171 [degrees]), chicken cutlet (150 [degrees]), cold cuts (41, 38 [degrees]), chef salad (39 [degrees]).”

Inspection Oct 5 2018 Darien High School

Image from Darien H.D. website

Part of the Oct. 5, 2018 inspection report for Darien High School


—Holmes School — 18 Hoyt St. — Oct. 10Town Rating: A — State Score: 98 — Inspector’s Remarks: “Food containers stored on floor in walk-in freezer.” — Inspector’s Comments: “Glove use, hand washing observed. Proper sanitizing. Chicken patty (38 [degrees]), cheese (38 [degrees]), pizza (191 [degrees]), chicken patty (190 [degrees]), sauce (194 [degrees]), rigatoni (200 [degrees]). Proper labeling. Excellent inspection.”

Inspection Holmes School 10-10-18

Image from Darien H.D. website

Part of the Oct. 10 inspection report for Holmes School.


—Ox Ridge School — 395 Mansfield Ave. — Oct. 10Town Rating: A — State Score: 100 (perfect)

—Tokeneke School — 7 Old Farm Road — Oct. 5Town Rating: A — State Score: 99 — Inspector’s Remarks: “Tape used on steam table to hold up part of service line equipment.” — Inspector’s Comments: “Proper sanitizing. Glove use, hand washing obseerved. Salisbury steak (166 [degrees]), grilled cheese (164 [degrees]), ham and cheese (40 [degrees]). Cooling units all properly maintaining. Very good inspection.”

Inspection Tokeneke School hlth 10-5-18

Image from Darien H.D. website

Part of the Oct. 5 inspection report for Tokeneke School



—Hindley School  — 10 Nearwater Lane — Sept. 24Town Rating: A  — State Score: 98 — Inspector’s Remarks: “Food items stored on floor in walk-in cooler. (Corrected.)” — Inspector’s Comments: “Excellent inspection. Cold holding OK. Hot-hold chicken (out of oven) 213 degrees; hot dog, 186 degrees; pizza, 172 degrees. Case of adulterated oranges came in by delivery. Marked ‘Do Not Use’ and put aside in refrigeration (prior to inspection). Proper thawing in prep sink observed (cool, running water).”

Hindley School Oct 1 2018 inspection report

Image from the Darien H.D. website

Part of the report for the Sept. 24, 2018 inspection of Hindley School.


—Royle School — 133 Mansfield Ave. — Oct. 1Town Rating: A — State Score: 98 — Inspector’s Remarks: “Cracked food container in walk-in cooler. Discard.” — Inspector’s Comments: “Ribs/veggies/pizza [at temperatures of] 162/201/185. Proper sanitizing at three-bay [sink]. Glove[s] and hand washing observed.”

Royle School inspection Oct 1 2018

Image from the Darien H.D. website

Report for the Oct. 1, 2018 inspection of Royle School


—Browne & Company — 865 Post Road — Oct. 10Town Rating: A — State Score: 94

—Trader Joe’s — 436 Post Road — Oct. 3Town Rating: A — State Score: 94

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; 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.

  • Editor’s note: Individual municipal health departments use the same state health code, but each may administer it with its own particular emphasis, so even if you compare state scores under the same system from town to town, you won’t necessarily get an exact idea of how two restaurants compare. We recommend considering these scores as a rough guide to get an impression of an establishment’s carefulness with health risks over time.


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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  1. Pingback: One Restaurant Gets ‘C’ Rating — the Worst — in Most Recent Darien Health Inspection Reports - DarieniteDarienite

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