Darien Health Dept. Rates 3 Food Places Poor, 3 Fair [UPDATE]

Three food-serving establishments in town received ratings of "poor" from Darien Health Department inspections, and another three were rated "fair"; every other establishment that serves food in town received ratings of "go

Update, 11:38 a.m.:

The Convent of St. Brigitta was incorrectly described as having a "Poor" rating for the last quarter of 2012 on the Darien Health Department website.

"In fact, the Convent has been nominated to receive a 'Certificate of Excellence' due to the extraordinary efforts exhibited in the preparation and service of food over the past several years," Darien Health Director David Knauf writes in a comment posted on this page. "Our deepest apologies for the incorrect posting!"

Original article (corrected):

Darien Health Department inspectors try to visit each restaurant or other food-serving establishment in town at least once each three months, and here are the inspection results from the last quarter of 2012:

One Plate—Poor

  • Jimmy's Southside Tavern, 340 Heights Rd. (last inspection: Dec. 27; inspection history)

Two Plates—Fair

  • Tengda Asian Bistro, 25 Old Kings Hwy. N. (last inspection: Jan. 3, 2013 [also Oct. 1 and Oct. 2, 2012]; inspection history)

Three Plates—Good

All other food-serving establishments in town.

How Health Department 'plate' ratings work

On its Web page, the Health Department describes how it rates the establishments:

"This is a program designed to provide the public with some basic information about the sanitary conditions observed in the facility, not just at the time of the inspection, but over the past year.

"Ratings are provided by the department to the food service establishment with the inspection report during each inspection and are based on the following factors:

  • The absence/presence of 'critical violations' that are likely to cause food borne illness,
  • The absence/presence of chronic violations as noted in past inspections,
  • The facility inspection history and efforts to correct previously noted violations,
  • The training and demonstrable knowledge of food service personnel, and
  • The overall sanitary conditions in the facility at the time of inspection."

The ratings system classifies food-serving establishments into three categories:

Three plates—Good: "A food service establishment shall receive a Good Rating when safe food handling practices with no critical violations were observed at the time of inspection and the facility was found to be in considerable compliance with the factors outlined above."

Two plates—Fair: "A food service establishment shall receive a Fair Rating when the minimum requirements of the Connecticut Public Health Code were met at the time of inspection but improvements were needed in the food handling practices of food service personnel and the factors outlined above."

One plate—Poor: "A food service establishment shall receive a Poor Rating when chronic or critical violations that are likely to cause food borne illness were evident at the time of inspection, or the facility received a score below eighty (80) or had one (1) or more four (4) point demerit items in violation, or was not in compliance with the factors outlined above."


Correction: The initial version of this article listed the Convent of St. Brigitta as having a "poor" rating. In fact, inspectors gave it a rating of "good" but the Health Department website posting was incorrect. See the 11:38 a.m. update above and the comment from David Knauf below for more details.

John Roberson January 08, 2013 at 03:44 AM
Estrella, You are so right. Gurliacci is such a gossip reporter -- and that's being nice. People feed him info and he just regurgetates it. He wouldn't know news if it hit him in the face
Estrella January 08, 2013 at 11:57 AM
Sebastian, My comments, in general, are not directed toward you. They are directed at Mr Gurliacci. I don't care if you stop reading my comments because I do not generate my own income and income for my employer from Sebastian Dangerfield reading my bloggings. Still have not heard from Mr. Gurliacci.
sebastian dangerfield January 08, 2013 at 11:34 PM
estrella Another mistake. You are not 'blogging'-- this is a comment section. Get to know the difference. In fact, just try to get something correct.
Estrella January 09, 2013 at 11:56 AM
Sebastian, Still have not heard from Mr. Gurliacci. regarding his opinion on my comments. Thank you for pointing out the difference between a blog and a comment.
Bob Jordan January 09, 2013 at 09:21 PM
I wish someone report on exactly what the specific problems were for all "poor" and all "downgraded" establioshments. Prior requests along this line seem to have gone unanswered. I suspect source was Town web site as post rating but no detail. If so, lazy as well as inadequate reporting.


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