Two Places Get ‘C’ Ratings in Latest Health Inspections of Darien Food-Serving Establishments

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A restaurant and another food-serving establishment in Darien each received a “C” rating, the worst in the town’s A/B/C ratings system in the latest inspection reports, released Thursday by the 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 10 health inspection reports on Thursday, for inspections that took place from Jan. 24 to 29. Only one inspection resulted in a “B” rating and “A” was the rating for seven others.

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):


—Ox Ridge School — 395 Mansfield Ave. — Jan. 24 — Town Rating: A — State Score: 100

—Royle School — 133 Mansfield Ave. — June 24 — Town Rating: A — State Score: 100


—Browne & Co. — 865 Post Road — Jan. 25 — Town Rating: A — State Score: 98

—Four Forks LLC — 7 Tokeneke Road — Jan. 25 — Town Rating: A — State Score: 94

—Heights Pizza — 882 Post Road — Jan. 24 — Town Rating: B — State Score: 91

—Little Bites Cafe — (at Darien YMCA) 2420 Post Road — Jan. 28Town Rating: C — State Score: 83 — Inspector’s Remarks: “Documented training of employee (handwashing, sanitation practice, washing produce/wholesome food, cut tomatoes are PHF [potentially hazardous foods]; food thermometer not working; romaine lettuce should be cut from the core and washed; eating chips behind counter; not utilizing three-bay [sink] correctly, manual dish washing must contain three steps; manual juicers and peeler stored unclean; no waste receptacle at hand sink. Do not prop green cutting boards over hand sink; label protein powders; keep handles stored out of food product; cracked containers with drink powders, rusty can opener.” — Inspector’s Comments: “Note: Floor starting to pit, date labeling discussion, food still being produced where? Employee called and made at roli-poli. Hair restraint?? Employee training … handwashing and glove use. One fourth of a tomato cut, left out, small patch of mold starting on another tomato.”

Jan. 29 inspection report for Little Bites Cafe.

—Mather Center, Darien Senior Program — 2 Renshaw Road — Jan. 29Town Rating: A — State Score: 94 — Inspector’s Remarks: “Rinsing wiping cloth in prep sink and misuse of gloves; thawing mushrooms on counter; warewash floors unclean; personal phone out on prep counter.” — Inspector’s Comments: “Very clean and organized kitchen and storage! Hand washing observed … glove use and cleaning discussion with chef.”

Part of the Jan. 29 inspection report for the Mather Community Center-Darien Senior Center

—McDonald’s — Darien North rest stop, Interstate 95 — Jan. 25Town Rating: A — State Score: 96

—New Beijing Restaurant — 5 Tokeneke Road — Jan. 24Town Rating: A — State Score: 93

—Steam Restaurant — 971 Post Road — Jan. 24 — Town Rating: C — State Score: 82 — Inspector’s Remarks: “Cooked, cooling, unovered dumpling stored under raw product in walk-in; storing large bowl containing cooked dumpling mix on trash receptacle; no sanitizer set up, busy lunch service and large catering order going out; bleach jug empty under dish[washing] machine (replaced but still not pulling chemical); not sanitizing knives at three-bay [sink] (training needed), not using a three-step manual system; several knives and utensils stored unclean; soap dispenser not working at hand sink … end of the line/near warewash; cups floating in large sauce buckets  (duck and soy sauce); cutting board with large hole in the center, disposed of during inspection; cracked stones near grill (two), crates used as shelving and left unclean; crates unclean near grill and grease dripping from the line; leak under hand sink in back prep area; floors unclean near fryer and behind water wash hood, tiles starting to sink near walk-in cooler; wall peeling over prep sink (water damage); water wash hood turned on during inspection.” — Inspector’s Comments: “Left message with auto-Chlor about servicing dish machine, this must be fixed immediately. Keep hood system on so it is working correctly. Training needed for new employee.”

Steam Restaurant inspection late Jan 2020

Part of the Jan.24, 2020 inspection report for Steam restaurant. This report was not on the Health Department’s website on Thursday, Jan. 30.

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.

—This article was first published at 6:40 p.m. The time stamp has been changed to put the link at the top of the daily newsletter.

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