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Greenwich Health Department finds violations at town restaurants

May 18, 2019

GREENWICH — Health inspectors found violations requiring urgent correction at more than a dozen restaurants in Greenwich in the latest round of inspections in the first three months of the year. A number of eating establishments were cited for numerous sanitary and storage violations, town records show.

None of the inspections required any facilities to be closed for a failing score. But of the more than 100 recent inspections, there were numerous citations for 4-point infractions, which are considered the most serious.

The Health Department gives a failing citation in one of two ways. On a 100-point scale, a score below 80 is a failure. Also, a single 4-point violation, usually given for food temperature and handling, results in a failing mark. Restaurants that are cited for failures require immediate corrections, and some are required to go through a reinspection.

In addition to restaurants, inspectors scrutinize the food operations at markets, healthcare facilities, clubs and schools.

The lowest score in the latest round fell to Stateline Deli on West Putnam Avenue, which was cited with two four-point violations, and came in with an initial score of 78. An inspector found a heated chicken breast in the holding area with a temperature of 66 degrees, well below the allowable limit, and personal medication stored on a cook line. Both those problems were corrected, and the score was eventually raised to 86. The inspector also found a “grab and go” cooler that was unclean; tongs stored on oven handles; and inadequate ceiling tiles in a dry storage area, the report said.

The Cos Cobber on East Putnam Avenue gained a score of 81. An employee handbag was stored in a hand-washing sink, a significant violation, according to the report. The inspector also found a basement door propped open; food containers stored on the floor of a walk-in freezer; a plastic container used as a scoop; and a damaged ceiling in the basement, the report said.

The Famous Greek Kitchen on North Water Street came in with an 82 score. A sanitizer bucket did not have the proper amount of disinfectant, the inspection stated, a significant violation that was corrected. The inspector found duct tape on the edge of counter space in the kitchen; wet rags not stored in a sanitizer bucket; an unclean can opener; and tongs stored on an oven handle, the report said.

Two establishments were marked at 83. At Greco’s Bella Cucina on Hamilton Avenue, a container of the industrial lubricant WD-40, and some antacid tablets were stored among food containers, a significant violation that was corrected, the report said. The inspection also revealed cardboard boxes reused as food containers; an uncovered garbage pail in a restroom; and improper knife storage. At the North Water Deli, on that street, rice and vegetables were measured at 129 degrees, below the 135-degree requirement. The inspector also found food stored in shopping bags in a freezer; an unclean interior in a microwave; unclean floors; and cardboard reused as storage, the report said.

Panda III of Greenwich, on West Putnam Avenue, was scored at 84, with a four-point violation observed: a walk-in cooler testing at 46 degrees, above the 41 required. A freezer door handle was broken; a reach-in cooler was unclean; and a cell phone was found on the cook line, the inspector said.

The Little Thai Kitchen had an initial score of 84, and a four-point violation for a soup temperature measured at 60 degrees, below the required temperature. A cracked counter, unclean floors and uncovered food in a walk-in freezer also deducted points, according to the inspection report.

Byram Sushi and Teriyaki was cited with an 86-point score and two four-point violations: a cold-holding area that was 41 degrees, not the required 45, and a hot-holding area that was 135 degrees, not the required 140. Those issues were corrected.

The health inspector gave a thorough examination of the dining facilities at Greenwich High School, which had a number of problems detected last year.

Late last year, the high school was cited for two major violations: food items at the griddle that were above the 41-degree limit, and no hot water at a prep area hand-sink. The inspector noted in December: “repeat violation, last four months” over plumbing issues. No problems with the water flow was found during the inspection on March 8. A single violation was found — an employee handbag near slicing equipment. The score was a 99.

At Greenwich Country Day School, a four-point violation was issued last year after it was discovered a backflow device was missing. This year, the facilities scored a 98.

Other schools did well during the recent round of inspections: 96 was the score given to North Street School and Western Middle School. Hamilton Avenue School got 98 points; Parkway School was rated at 100 points. Dining facilities at several Brunswick School locations were in the upper 90s. The new New Lebanon School scored 100.

Greenwich Country Day was given a 98-point rating, as was Sacred Heart Greenwich. Greenwich Academy was rated at 100 points.

rmarchant@greenwichtime.com

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