‘Poor’ Ratings for Three in Latest Health Inspection Reports: a Darien Pizzeria, a Restaurant and a Company Lunch Room

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Three food-serving places in town received a “C” from health inspectors — the worst rating in the town’s A-B-C ratings system — in the most recent health inspection reports 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 department released 12 reports from inspections that took place from Aug. 5 to 15. In addition to the three “C” ratings, five resulted in “B” ratings and four 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):

—Bistro Baldanza — 1020 Post Road — Aug. 12Town Rating: C — State Score: 90 — Inspector’s Remarks: “No consumer advisory on menu; damp wiping cloths stored on counter; hot water turned off at prep/cook hand sink (corrected); label bulk granular in storage downstairs. Also, some house-made items in walk-in cooler mislabeled, not labeled; door handle on small prep cooling unit has duct tape holding it in place. Not washable; cook/prep hand sink leaking underneath.” — Inspector’s Comments: “Consumer advisory not on current menu. Was on previous menu but was inadvertently left off current menu, due to expansion? Consistant labeling needed in walk-in cooler. Sanitizer set up, gloves worn. No hot holding, clients[?] and organized.”

Bistro Baldanza inspection August 2019

Image from the Darien H.D. website

Part of the Bistro Baldanza inspection report

—Chipotle Mexican Grill — Darien North rest stop, Interstate 95 — Aug. 5 Town Rating: A — State Score: 96

—Duchess — 22 Center St. — 306 Post RoadTown Rating: A — State Score: 93

—Juice Press — 72 Heights Road — Aug. 15Town Rating: B — State Score: 87

—Louie’s Italian Restaurant & Bar — 10 Center St. — Aug. 12Town Rating: B — State Score: 87

—Post Corner Pizza — 847 Post Road — Aug. 9Town Rating: C — State Score: 79 — Inspector’s Remarks: “Two refrigerator[s] at 47 degrees (unit on the line and dessert refrigerator); raw meat stored near RTE [ready-to-eat] food (shelled eggs over RTE); red bucket left in hand sink (through the entire inspection); dishmachine [dish washer] not pulling bleach (tested twice); utensils stored unclean, mold growth in walk-in: ceiling and shelving; no soap or paper towels (two different hand sinks); toxic spray bottles not labeled with contents, chemical buckets too strong; shopping bag used to hold frozen fish in two-door freezer; plumbing leaking in basement (water line); floors unclean in freezer walk-in and back dry storage [area].” 

Post Corner Pizza inspection August 2019

Image from the Darien H.D. website

From the Post Corner Pizza inspection report

—The Residence at Selleck’s Woods — 1 Parklands Dr. — Aug. 13Town Rating: A — State Score: 94

—Scena Wine Bar & Restaurant — 1077 Post Road — Aug. 12Town Rating: B — State Score: 90

—Tokeneke Club — 4 Butler’s Island Road — Aug. 9Town Rating: A — State Score: 93

—Uncle’s Deli — 1041 Post Road — Aug. 10Town Rating: B — State Score: 92

—Vavala’s Deli — 156 Heights Road — Aug. 10Town Rating: B — State Score: 92

—Zotos International — 100 Tokeneke Road — Aug. 13Town Rating: C — State Score: 78 — Inspector’s Remarks: “Chicken in the top warmer at 120 degrees, meatloaf in the bottom warmer (unit NOT on) at 101 degrees; potato salad on the line (sandwich station) at 55 degrees; cutting iceberg lettuce without washing for sandwich bar; uncovered loaf of bread on the counter; no hand washing when changing task and entering the kitchen after a break; no sanitizer set up in the kitchen; unclean wiping cloths left on prep counter in the kitchen; water not running on ribs thawing in the prep sink; cracked lid of food storage container; nonfood surfaces on the line unclean; leak at 3 [Number 3?] prep sink: dripping onto the floor; cockroaches observed in the kitchen: Last Waltham Pest Service/exterminator report available for review from July 13, 2019; grease on the floor near the stove/wall.”

Zotos International inspection August 2019

From the Zotos International inspection report

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.

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  • 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.

See also:

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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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