One Town Restaurant Gets a ‘C’ in Latest Health Inspection Reports for Darien Food-Serving Places

Health Rating Bodega Taco Bar

Health rating posted at Bodega Taco Bar

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One food-serving establishment in town received a “C” — the worst town rating — in the latest inspection reports for Darien restaurants and other food-serving establishments just released by Darien 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.

The reports released on Thursday were from six inspections that took place from Sept. 9 to 14. None resulted in “B” ratings and five were rated “A.”

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.

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 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

—Ox Ridge School — 395 Mansfield Ave. — Sept. 13Town Rating: A — State Score: 100


—Burgers Shakes & Fries — 800 Post Road — Sept. 9Town Rating: A — State Score: 94

—Chipotle Mexican Grill — 71 Post Road — Sept. 14Town Rating: A — State Score: 93

—Jimmy’s Southside Tavern — 340 Heights Road — Sept. 12Town Rating: C — State Score: 81 — Inspector’s Remark’s: “No documentation of training, employees unable to answer food temperature questions during inspection; scallops at 48 degrees inside bain marie, sliced cheese at 56 and lobster/clam stock out on the counter at 82 degrees. Precooked chicken wings at 71 degrees out on the counter; cooling mashed potatoes on the counter near prep sink on 110 to 121 degrees; thermometers inside cold-holding units not working; not washing romaine lettuce before use; not labeling spray bottles and must organize the shellfish tags in storage; colored cutting boards in poor repair; torn freezer gasket/ice buildup; areas around the line equipment unclean, build up of grease and debris; strong odor from grease trap; dropping observed in various parts of the kitchen and fruit flies in the dry storage area (exterminator must be on premises today for treatment); paint peeling on the walls near food prep areas and dusty vent/ceiling near over prep sink with uncovered soup cooling.” — Inspector’s Comments: QFO/owner onsite when? Cooling chicken in the bain marie, package of moldy sliced cheese inside refrigerator, employees took trash out with black gloves on and then only removed and changed gloves when returning to the kitchen without any hand washing, no quat test strips available, training template left for staff and QFO review.”

Image from Darien H.D. website

Part of Sept. 12, 2019 inspection report for Jimmy’s Southside Tavern.

—Michael Joseph’s Catering — 1405 Post Road — Sept. 14Town Rating: A — State Score: 93

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.


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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