Kitchen manager Josh Kosloski has worked in lots of food prep settings, including French restaurants where haute cuisine and plastic gloves don’t mix. They do mix in Connecticut—with strict rules for hand-washing, as Kosloski learned in the latest round of city health inspections.
Kosloski and his crew learned that after Elm City Market failed two straight inspections.
On Nov. 15 the sprawling market on the ground floor of the 360 State apartment tower on Chapel Street scored only a 61 out of a minimum 80 needed to pass a health department inspection. Two other local eateries failed inspections, too.
Most of the violations at Elm City Market were minor, like “clean tracks on slide doors.” But there were two big violations: a toxic item was stored near food products; and there was a gap in state-mandated hand-washing procedure when employees changed gloves.
The rule requires employees to wash hands whenever a pair of gloves is discarded and a new one donned, even if the worker doesn’t leave the food prep area to touch a door knob or check a cell phone.
Both are significant four-point deductions on the score card sanitarians keep recording each visit.
The staff was given two weeks to make corrections. On Nov. 29, on the reinspection, the large violations recurred. They were rectified on site. Still the debits were noted, and the popular co-op market scored only a 70, not enough for a passing grade.
On the inspection form beneath “Date Corrections Due:” senior sanitarian Brian Wnek wrote “24 hours.”
The market also had to pay the required $100 fee for the reinspection.
“It [rectifying all the noted violations] should have been done on the 29th,” said Elm City Market’s Marketing Manager, Amy Christensen, referring to the corrections and more scrupulousness in following procedure. The market has 87 employees, including about 25 in the kitchen, she said.
Kitchen manager Kosloski and “everyone came together as a team to make it right on the 30th. And every day after,” Christensen said.
When Wnek returned on Nov. 30, for a third unannounced visit within two weeks, the score zoomed to a respectable 90 out of 100.
Elm City Market was one of 44 food establishments inspected by the health department during the Nov. 27 to Dec. 3 period. Besides Elm City, which eventually passed on the third try, two others institutions failed: Jeera Thai on Crown Street; and Ixtapa Taqueria on Lamberton Street, which was closed down until major repairs and cleaning are undertaken.
City sanitarians inspect all of New Haven’s restaurants, groceries, bars, and any other establishment that serves 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 also close a restaurant, regardless of its score, if the sanitarians suspect an immediate danger to public health.
11/27/2012: Subway, 315 Foxon Blvd., Score: 96; Wal-Mart Stores, 315 Foxon Blvd., Score: 86; S.B. Mart Convenience Store, 422 Middletown Ave., Score: 90; JC Travel Express, 220 Grand Ave., Score: 93; Basta, 1006 Chapel St., Score: 90; Viva Zapata, 161 Park St., Score: 81; St. Francis Church, 397 Ferry St., Score: 98; Ferry Grocery, 410 Ferry St., Score: 89; La Quinta Inn & Suites, Score: 88
11/28/2012: New Haven Hotel, 229 George St., Score: 93; Willoughby’s Coffee & Tea, 258 Church St., Score: 93; Tlaxcala Grocery, 964 State St., Score: 89; Sam Food/DB Mart, 287 Blake St., Score: 94; Owl Shop, 268 College St., Score: 84; 168 York Street Cafe, 168 York St., Score: 87; Sofie’s Gourmet, 60 Temple St., Score: 81; Cafe George by Paula, 300 George St., Score: 89; Istanbul Cafe South, 245 Crown St., Score: 81; Joseph Slifka Ctr for Jewish Life, 80 Wall St., Score: 91; Sunrise Deli, 820 State St., Score: 92
11/29/2012: Akasaka Japanese Restaurant, 1450 Whalley Ave., Score: 89; Fitch Street Food Mart, 258 Fitch St., Score: 90; Lulu, A European Cafe, 49 Cottage St., Score: 90; Congress Market, 620 Congress Ave., Score: 83; Stella Blues, 204 Crown St., Score: 90;
11/30/2012: Centro De Bienstar #2, 263 Grand Ave., Score: 97; Fair Haven Clam & Lobster Co., 265 Front St., Score: 100; St. Rose Church, 115 Blatchley Ave., Score: 96; Ferraro’s Market 664 Grand Ave., Score: 82; Ferraro’s Market Food (Take Out), 664 Grand Ave., Score: 83; La Carreta Restaurant, 930 State St., Score: 80; Jordans Hot Dogs & Mac, 957 State St., Score: 90; Cave A Vin, 973 State St., Score: 89; Elm City Market, 777 Chapel St., Score: 90; Knights of St. Patrick, 1533 State St., Score: 90;
12/3/2012: New Haven Pizza, 798 George St., Score: 83; Dunkin Donuts, 105 Derby Ave., Score: 83; Scorplo’s Lounge and Cafe, 17 Norton St., Score: 83; Dollar Haven, 111 Derby Ave., Score: 81; Morning Glory Infant Toddler Ctr., 49 Parmelee Ave., Score: 94; Siloam Cafe, 1 Long Wharf, Score: 84
The 2 Needing Improvement
216 Crown St.
Due: 2 Weeks
• Don’t block access to hand sink by storing items inside of it
• Store wipe cloths in sanitary solution
• Cover exposed food products, don’t store food products on the floor
• Clean baffles on hood system
• Label products not in original containers
• Hang up mops and brooms when not in use
• Clean air vents, water-stained ceiling tiles
• Follow label instructions on products that state “keep refrigerated”
• Don’t use a cup as a scoop for food
• Clean walls, touch up defective walls
• Don’t line shelves with towels, fix defective top on freezer
• No drinking from an open (uncovered) cup in a food preparation area
• Invert single serve containers
• Refill paper towel dispenser at front and rear hand sinks
• Clean gaskets on cooler doors
• Seal gaps on exterior doors
• Clean exhaust fan
• Fix defective flooring, clean floors under and around equipment
• Don’t store toxic items with food products
• Raise hot water temp at hand sink to more than 110 degrees, fix cold water faucet on hand sink
63 Lamberton St.
Kitchen closed until major cleaning and repairs made
• Container of pickles, peppers in liquid uncovered by cleanout to grease separator - destroyed
• Large pan of cooked pork - 54 degrees, on counter uncovered with spoon inside
• Containers of food uncovered on floor inside refrigerator units
• Large pan of chicken inside grocery bag adjacent meat in grocery bag, both thawing
• Containers of food sitting on floor
• Missing paper towels at kitchen at toilet room hand sinks
• Container stored in kitchen hand sink
• Using grocery bags to store meat
• Shelves inside and out of reach-ins rusty
• Goose neck hose on 3-bay sink tied up
• 3-bay sink not clean
• Toilet seat on floor and not clean
• Missing screen on rear door
• Floors not clean
• Dirty wiping cloths throughout, not clean
• And not stored in bleach water bucket
• Dirty wiping cloths not stored in one place, missing clean wiping cloths
• Floor flooding from boiling unattended pots
• Screen door missing screen