Worst Rating — ‘C’ — for One Establishment in Recent Darien Health Inspections

Health Department Inspection Ratings Restaurants 11-17-17
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A ‘C’ rating — the worst in the town’s A-B-C ratings system — went to one Darien food-serving establishment in the six food health inspection reports released on Thursday by Darien Health Department.

Inspection reports from three town schools were among the ones released.

The most recent batch of reports are from inspections that took place from  Jan. 25 to 30. Two of them received a rating of “B,” and another three were rated “A.”

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):


—Holmes School — 18 Hoyt St. — Jan. 30Town Rating: A — State Score: 99 — Inspector’s Remarks: “Dirt/food residue accumulating in gap between floor tiles and walk-in cooling units.” — Inspector’s Comments: “The wall-to-floor juncture alongside the walk-in boxes should be covered to eliminate food/dirt buildup. All temperatures good: Pasta, 198 [degrees]; chicken, 162 [degrees]; cold cuts, 39 [degrees]; salad, 42 [degrees].”

Holmes School H.D. inspection

Image from H.D. website

Part of the report for the inspection of Holmes School cafeteria on Jan. 30.

—Middlesex Middle School — 204 Hollow Tree Ridge Road — Jan. 28Town Rating: A — State Score: 100 (perfect)

—Ox Ridge School — 395 Mansfield Ave. — Jan. 25Town Rating: A — State Score: 99 — Inspector’s Remarks: “All spray bottles need to be labeled with content.”Inspector’s Comments: “Solid inspection once again. Seals steak, 188 [degrees]; tortellini, 196 [degrees]; pasta salad, 36 [degrees]; deli meat, 39 [degrees]. New steam table in place, along with two prep tables. Told by kitchen manager that the two spray bottles were for the grease trap and are not used by kitchen staff. If it is in the kitchen, it has to be labeled.”

H.D. report Ox Ridge School Jan 25 2019

Image from the H.D. website

Report from the Jan. 25 inspection of Ox Ridge School cafeteria.


—Burgers Shakes & Fries — 800 Post Road — Jan. 29Town Rating: A — State Score: 95

—Darien Butcher Shop — 13 Grove St. — Jan. 28Town Rating: C — State Score: 85 — Inspector’s Remarks: “Cooling large cut of beef at room temperature, 82 degrees; interior of Bain Maries unclean; unlabeled bottles on counter; thawing turkey at room temperature (prep sink); large prep wood board starting to crack: what is the repair/replace plan?; non-food contact surfaces unclean: near grease trap; fruit flies observed near prep and warewash; hood filters unclean.” — Inspector’s Comments: “Glove use observed!”

H.D. inspection Darien Butcher Shop Jan 28 2019

Image from H.D. website

Part of inspection report for Darien Butcher Shop on Jan. 28, 2019.

—Mama Carmela’s — 1981 Post Road — Jan. 28Town 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.

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.


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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