3 Eateries Fail; Fingernails Doom Krauszer’s

Allan Appel PhotoA food worker at Krauszer’s was making sandwiches while wearing artificial fingernails. Unfortunately for the boss, a city health inspector walked in on the act.

Krauszer’s, a popular food center in the heart of Morris Cove, usually scores well on its city health inspection. Thanks to two points lost for the fingernails and some other violations, it failed its most recent inspection.

Three food establishments out of 37 failed the round of health inspections conducted between Feb. 5 and Feb. 18.

City sanitarians inspect all of New Haven’s restaurants, groceries, bars, and other establishments that serve food between one and four times a year. Establishments that score less than 80 usually have two weeks to make the recommended corrections. The health department can close a restaurant regardless of its score, if the sanitarians suspect an immediate danger to public health.

(Scroll down in this story for results of the latest round of inspections.)

Mohammad Ishfaq, who has managed the Krauszer’s outpost for 16 years, admitted that it was news to him that artificial fingernails are not permitted on food workers. His staffer was wearing gloves when sanitarian Ros Hamilton entered and noticed the long nails.

As soon as the worker finished up with one pair of gloves and took them off, off came the artificial finger nails as well, he said.

He said that the sanitarian arrived at a particularly busy time with lots of customers at the Krauszer’s, which sits at the intersection of Townsend and Morris Causeway.

The fingernail offense earned a deduction of two points for item #15 (out of 62 possible categories of deduction) on the state inspection form under “Cleanliness of Personne.” Those demerits contributed to the store’s 74 point score; you need an 80 to pass.

The Artificial Fingernail Question

The rationale and interpretation of the artificial nail admonition were provided by William Gerrish, the director of the communications for the state Department of Public Health. He sent the following response to an email inquiry from the Independent:

Section 19-13-B42(p)(1) of the CT Public Health Code states:  “Food employees shall wear clean outer garments, maintain a high degree of personal cleanliness and conform to hygienic practices.  Food employees shall keep their fingernails trimmed, filed, and maintained so the edges and surfaces are cleanable and not rough.  Food employees shall keep their fingers, nails, hands, and exposed portions of their arms clean by using a cleaning compound to lather hands and arms for at least 20 seconds, followed by thorough rinsing with clean water in a handwashing facility, and hand drying using approved sanitary towels or other approved hand drying device.”

He went on to write: “Our Compliance Guide states for Item #15 on the inspection form: ‘(c) Unless wearing intact gloves in good repair, a food employee may not wear fingernail polish or artificial finger nails when working with exposed food.’”

He said that the state’s interpretation is based on the reasoning provided by the FDA for Section 2-302.11 of the FDA 2009 Model food code. That reads:  “The requirement for fingernails to be trimmed, filed, and maintained is designed to address both the cleanability of areas beneath the fingernails and the possibility that fingernails or pieces of the fingernails may end up in the food due to breakage. Failure to remove fecal materials from beneath the fingernails after defecation can be a major source of pathogenic organisms. Ragged fingernails present cleanability concerns and may harbor pathogenic organisms.’

During his tenure at Krauszer’s, Ishfaq said, his place has routinely scored high marks in inspections.

“One by one, we go over everything. It’s all small stuff,” Ishfaq said of the list of demerits. He said he has already fixed the problems cited in the inspection.

Inspectors stress that a low score doesn’t mean a restaurant is always failing. Nor does a high or even perfect score mean an eatery is always squeaky clean. Rather it means that at the moment of the inspectors’ unannounced visit, they found the conditions they reported. That’s why city Environmental Health Director Paul Kowalski calls each inspection a kind of sanitary “snapshot.”

Of the 37 restaurants inspected between Feb. 5 and Feb. 18. 34 passed. The three that did not were ordered to make required changes within two weeks. The following received passing grades:

2/5/2013: Deja Brew, 763 Edgewood Ave., Score: 83; Roger Sherman House, 48 Howe St., Score: 96; Mamoun’s Falafel Restaurant, 48 Howe St., Score: 96;Pizza House, 89 Howe St., Score: 91; Brick Oven Pizza, 122 Howe St., Score: 83; Sam Food Store, 62 Forbes Ave., Score: 96; Frisco’s Restaurant, 383 Forbes Ave, Score: 80; Anastasio’s Restaurant, 127 Wooster St., Score: 86; Anastasio’s Catering, 127 Wooster St., Score: 86; Blue State Coffee, 320 Congress Ave., Score: 91; Edgewood School, 737 Edgewood Ave., Score: 92

2/6/2013: Dunkin Donuts, 51 York St., Score: 90; California Grocery, 846 Congress Ave., Score: 85; Hill Regional High, 140 Legion Ave., Score: 87; Davenport Foods, 253 Davenport Ave., Score: 87; Ninety One Diner, 420 Middletown Ave., Score: 88; Sanchez Grocery Store, 659 Washington Ave., Score: 93

2/7/2013: King Robinson School, 150 Fournier St., Score: 95; New Haven Pantry Restaurant, 2 Mechanic St., Score: 92; Patricia’s Restaurant, 18 Whalley Ave., Score: 92; Miya’s Sushi, 68 Howe St., Score: 83; Elm City College Prepatory, 794 Dixwell Ave., Score: 96; Marjolaine Pastry Shop, 961 State St., Score: 89; Lincoln Bassett School, 130 Bassett St., Score: 98; Costa Pizza, 1 Whitney Ave., Score: 88

2/13/2013: Italia Importing Co., 779 Grand Ave., Score: 94; Project Green, 830 Grand Ave., Score: 88; La Cuisine, 63 Grove St., Score: 88; Congress Deli Mart, 548 Congress Ave., Score: 90; Adriana’s Restaurant and Pizza, 771 Grand Ave., Score: 80

2/14/2013: La Cayeyana Donis Bakery, 188 Lamberton St., Score: 85; Hummel Bros Inc., 180 Sargent Dr., Score: 87; Lindley Food-Service, 201 Wallace St., Score: 90

2/15/2013: Morning Glory Infant Toddler Ctr, 49 Parmelee Ave., Score: 94

The Three Needing Improvement
During the Feb. 4 to Feb. 18 period, the following three failed their inspections:

Krauszer’s #614
25 Townsend Ave.
Score: 74
Due: 2 Weeks

• Small white freezer in disrepair
• Storing dirty utensils in hand sink
• Stove top grille not clean
• Door tracks on white glass door reach-in refrigerator not clean
• Utensils stored face up - store handles up and knives wedged between wall and 3-bay
• Cooking utensils not washed, rinsed, and sanitized
• Black plastic tray in deli cooler in disrepair
• Broom stored on floor
• Goose neck hose moldy, leaking
• Food worker training logs not provided
• Matted step stool, not clean
• Many pieces of unused equipment cluttering kitchen and storage area
• Bag of onions on flat, needs to be up, eliminate blue flats as storage on floor
• Under side of beverage dispenser (latte and cappuccino) not clean
• Using mini straws as stirrers, not individually wrapped
• Missing waste basket under hand sink
• Missing probe thermometer
• Dumpster lid open
• Missing “Smoking Prohibited” sign at entrance

Happy House
159 Truman St.
Score: 73
Due: 2 Weeks

• White freezer, upright, with ice build up and
• Exterior freezer no clean, exterior of all equipment sticky, not clean
• Inside microwave oven not clean
• Wood shelf and wood covered shelf not clean
• Fish oil capsules on food shelf (corrected)
• Empty boxes lined along building, no cardboard, dumpster needed (corrected)
• Food containers uncovered throughout
• Containers of granular missing labels
• Re-using egg crates - toss out
• Shell eggs over ready to eat, open containers of sauce in walk in
• Food containers stored on walk-in floor
• Plastic cups without handles used as scoops and
• Submerged in bins of food
• Re-using containers made into scoops
• Floor of reach-in flooded, low
• Insects crawling in light shield in rear
• Low white freezer in disrepair - leaks
• Damaged ceiling tiles
• Stainless steel shelves sticky, greasy
• Dirty wiping cloths not stored in bucket with sanitizer
• Brooms stored on floor - hang up
• Hand sink not clean
• Hood and vents not clean

Pizza Corner of New Haven
45 York St.
Score: 72
Due: 2 Weeks

• Clean metal wall cover, fix defective ceiling tiles, stained ceiling tiles
• Clean floors under and around equipment, fix defective flooring, clean floor in walk-in
• Hang up mops and brooms when not in use
• Touch up defective exterior on equipment, wipe exterior of equipment, fix defective gaskets on doors
• Clean can opener blade, holder, frame/ wipe insides coolers, freezers, microwave
• Fix defective light shield in rear area, remove all unuseful/unnecessary items from establishment
• Touch up defective walls, clean walls, fix defective wall board, clean vinyl and wallboard
• Lower hot water in bathroom to in between 110 and 115 degrees
• Clean air vents/ fix defective building structure
• Seal wall/floor junctions
• Defrost inside of walk in freezer, eliminate water build-up on floor
• Fix defective gaskets on doors/clean gaskets on door, wipe inside cabinets
• Don’t store food or drink on the floor
• Invert single serve containers and plates, hollow straws on coffee bar not protected
• Label product not in original containers
• Don’t line shelves in cooler with paper, don’t line baskets with paper
• Don’t use hand sink for any other purpose but hand washing, don’t store food or drink under drain line (i.e. hand sink)
• Need thermometer in warmest location in coolers holding prepared hot foods
• Hair restraints, store wipe cloths in sanitary solution in between uses
• Don’t store toxic items with food products on shelf (addressed on site)

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posted by: Nathan on February 25, 2013  8:31pm

Given that the worker was wearing gloves, this appears to be yet another questionable stringency in an otherwise important process of inspection to ensure public health.

posted by: Dan Kennedy on March 1, 2013  8:47am

This isn’t quite as horrifying as I expected when I first read the headline.