Two Restaurants Get Lowest, ‘C’ Ratings in Latest Health Inspection Reports

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Two Darien restaurants received a “C” rating, the worst in the town A-B-C ratings system, in in the most 1recently released Health Department inspection reports.

Two other establishments were rated “B”, and eight more received an “A.”

The seven inspection reports released Thursday were based on inspectors’ visits on March 21 to 28.

Most Recent Inspection Results

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):

—Chipotle Mexican Grill — Darien North rest stop, Interstate 95 — March 26 — Town Rating: B — State Score: 92

—Dunkin Donuts — Darien North rest stop, Interstate 95 — March 26 — Town Rating: A — State Score: 93

—Heights Pizza — 330 Heights Road — March 24 (reinspection) — Town Rating: A — State Score: 94

—Jake’s Place — 884 Ledge Road — March 24Town Rating: C — Inspector’s Remarks: “Cheese/tomatoes on top of front bain marie at 48 to 50 degrees (bottom air temp 38 degrees); large amount of sausage patties out on shelf above stove, 50 degrees; thermometer located in back of cook line bain marie; bag of sugar on floor in kitchen and food on floor under shelves in walk-in cooler; bare-hand contact with food–gloves put on; dish [washing] machine temperature fluctuated up and down 3×5 [?] stopped at 148.6 degrees. At end of inspection one cycle–161.6 degrees (tech coming today); unlabeled chemical spray bottles; unlabeled granular food bucket; several cracked food containers; small refrigerator is not commercial; milk crates used as shelving; torn gasket on residential refrigerator; rusty floor and wall in walk-in cooler; hood not clean; ice scoop and ice scoop container not clean; interior of ice machine–rusty; water on floor in basement; mop not hung to dry; water in bathroom hand sinks–135 degrees (shall be no more than 115 degrees); no self-closer on ladies room door.” — Inspector’s Comments: “Reinspection–March 31; Note: Cookline bain marie 46 to 47 degrees–shall be 49 degrees.”

Image from Darien Health Dept.

Page 1 from March 24, 2018 health inspection of Jake’s Place.

Image from Darien Health Dept.

Page 2 from the March 24, 2018 health inspection of Jake’s Place


—McDonald’s restaurant — Darien North rest stop, Interstate 95 — March 28 — Town Rating: A — State Score: 96

—McDonald’s restaurant — Darien South rest stop, Interstate 95 — March 26 — Town Rating: A — State Score: 96

—Planet Pizza of Darien — 2 Post Road — March 24Town Rating: C — State Score: 78 — Inspector’s Remarks: “Garlic in oil on counter–62 degrees (discarded); food thermometer not accurate; raw chicken above RTE [ready-to-eat food] in refrigerator in prep area; uncovered lasagna in walk-in cooler; thermometer in front-refrigerator not accurate; after handling raw chicken, gloved hands rinsed, gloves taken off, then new pair put on; purse hanging from back knife rack; bleach does not have mixing instructions for food contact surfaces or EPA regulation number; garbage bags used for food storage; torn gasket on front refrigerator; kitchen shelving dirty/rusty; hood, sides of equipment not clean; drain pipe leaking at back hand sink; knife wedged between wall and molding.” — Inspector’s Comments: “Reinspection–March 31.”

Image from Darien Health Dept.

March health inspection report for Planet Pizza


—Sbarro Darien (northbound) — Darien North rest stop, Interstate 95 — March 28 — Town Rating: B — State Score: 90

—Sbarro Darien (southbound) — Darien South rest stop, Interstate 95 — March 23 — Town Rating: A — State Score: 93

—Subway — Darien North rest stop, Interstate 95 — March 26 — Town Rating: A — State Score: 98

—Taco Bell — Darien South rest stop, Interstate 95 — March 21 — Town Rating: A — State Score: 97

—Taco Bell — Darien North rest stop, Interstate 95 — March 28 — Town Rating: A — State Score: 96

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.


See also:


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.

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.


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.

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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