Worst Health Inspection Rating — ‘C’ — for Two Darien Establishments in Latest Reports

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A restaurant and a retirement home in Darien received “C” ratings, the worst grade in town Health Department’s A/B/C ratings system, in the inspection reports released Thursday by the Darien Health Department.

Meanwhile, a retirement home that previously received a “C” rating has now received an “A” and a perfect 100 score in its latest inspection.

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 health inspection reports for 11 food-serving establishments on Thursday for inspections that took place from Sept. 4 to 9. In addition to the two “C” rating, five inspections resulted in an “A,” another four establishments each received a “B.”

Maplewood at Darien, which received a “C” in a previous inspection, was reinspected and received not only an “A” rating, but a perfect 100 in the state health rating scorecard — which means no violations whatever were found.

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):

—Atria Darien — 50 Ledge Road — Sept. 22Town Rating: C — State Score: 86 — Inspector’s Remarks: “Food in small bain-marie out of temperature (tuna salad at 51 [degrees], chicken salad at 53, ham at 51, and (lower area) chowder at 53 degrees (food product must be stored at 41 or below); food uncovered around the kitchen and in storage refrigeration (chips, bacon, ham, vegetables); rolling cart cannot block the hand sink on the cook line, a warning was issued during the last routine inspection to discontinue this practice; unclean utensils in storage (knife and ladle); areas on the line unclean, near grill and fryer; leak at sink on the stove.” — Inspector’s comments: “A couple minor corrects made on-site during inspection, hand-washing reminder for all staff, small service area fridge at 51 degrees (individual creamers and small half-and-half container), masks and gloves worn by kitchen staff, COVID-19 discussions, screening, tables distanced, some room delivery, no pub operation.”

Inspection report Atria Darien Sept. 22, 2020

Image from the Darien H.D. website

Part of the Sept. 22, 2020 inspection report for Atria Darien

—Dunkin Donuts — Darien North rest stop, Interstate 95 — Sept. 12Town Rating: B — State Score: 91

—Hindley School —10 Nearwater Lane — Sept. 14Town Rating: A — State Score: 100

—Holmes School — 18 Hoyt St. — Sept. 21Town Rating: A — State Score: 100

—The Goose American Bistro — 972 Post Road — Sept. 18Town Rating: A — State Score: 94

Recent Hibachi Sushi Ya health inspection ratings

Recent Hibachi Sushi Ya health inspection ratings, as shown on the Darien H.D. website on Sept. 25, 2020.

—Hibachi Sushi Ya — 111 Old Kings Hwy. North — Sept. 23Town Rating: C — State Score: 79 — Inspector’s Remarks: “Sushi rice not logged for time holding; sink against spice rack without barrier; foods on cooler and freezer floors; using bowls as scoops; personal items stored with foods and dishware; dirty wiping cloths on counters; dirty vegetable sliders, dirty and rusty seaweed tin; seaweed tin dirty; scoops and bowls stored in tubs of foods; torn gaskets on coolers; underside of shelves dirty; gap under rear door; floor tiles cracked in some areas; walls, ceilings, coving in disrepair and dirty; gap under rear door; rear area still cluttered, but improved.” — Inspector’s comments: “Made some progress.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: Hibachi Sushi Ya received “C” ratings in other recent inspections. This most recent inspection asserts many violations that were asserted in the previous health inspection, although the inspector commented that there was “some progress.”

The restaurant’s most recent “C” rating (reported here) was on Sept. 9. Hibachi Sushi Ya also received a “C” rating in February 2019 and in July 2019. In October 2019, Darienite.com noted that the restaurant received “C” ratings four times in seven inspections.

Inspection Hibachi Sushi Ya

Image from Darien H.D. website

Part of the Sept. 23, 2020 inspection report for Hibachi Sushi Ya


—Hissho Sushi at Stop and Shop supermarket — Goodwives Shopping Center, 25 Old Kings Hwy. North — Sept. 23Town Rating: B — State Score: 93

—Maplewood at Darien — 599 Post Road — Sept. 22Town Rating: A — State Score: 100

—Middlesex Middle School — 204 Hollow Tree Ridge Road — Sept. 21Town Rating: A — State Score: 100

—Stop and Shop supermarket — Goodwives Shopping Center, 25 Old Kings Hwy. North — Sept. 23Town Rating: B — State Score: 89

—Toasts LLC — 14 Brookside Road — Sept. 19 — Town Rating: A — State Score: 99 (Inspector’s comments: “A church kitchen not currently being used by the church […]”) — Since we couldn’t find Toasts LLC on the Health Department website, we’re publishing the inspection report image just below, as we received it from the Health Department, for readers who may be curious:

Toasts LLC September 2020 inspection report

Image from Darien H.D.

Part of the Sept. 19, 2020 inspection report for Toasts LLC

—The Waters Edge at Giovanni’s — 2748 Post Road — Sept. 18Town Rating: B — State Score: 91

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.

Additional information is given for restaurants and other food-serving establishments rated “C,” and for some others of interest to the public (like schools). 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.


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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