3 Of 27 Fail Latest Health Inspections

Allan Appel PhotoThe Great Wall is getting a new broom. Sahara is hanging up its mops. The two restaurants are doing that so they can pass their next city health inspections.

The Chinese take-out spot at Whalley and Ramsdell and the downtown Middle Eastern restaurant failed their most recent inspections—in part thanks to a worn-out broom and a soaking mop.

In all, three food establishments out of 27 around town failed the most recent round of citywide inspections that covers the period Jan. 22 to Jan. 28.

City sanitarians inspect all of New Haven’s restaurants, groceries, bars, and other food-serving establishments 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. (Scroll down in this story for results of the latest round of inspections.)

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 brilliant. 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.”

A worn-out broom earns a restaurant a one-point demerit. So does failure to “hang up mops and brooms when not in use.”

That latter violation occurred at Sahara Middle Eastern Cuisine on Temple Street. Inspector Wnek made a routine unannounced visit to the Sahara on Jan. 27 and found the mops and brooms violating the state guidelines by not being properly hung up.

When mops are left around, especially if they’re wet, they can attract bacteria or rodents, Kowalski noted.

A subsequent visit to Sahara by the Independent found mops in their racks. Co-owner Khaled Badawi (pictured) said when Inspector Brian Wnek arrived, the mops had been in recent use. Badawi, who used to work at Scoozi and Union League, launched Sahara, his first business, ten years ago.

Meanwhile, at Great Wall, the inspection found an old, partly burned broom. Great Wall owner Shi Kai Chen (who did not want to be photographed) said he does not speak much English but understood that a serious restaurant broom is required. Before the inspector returns on Feb. 13, “I fix everything,” Chen said.

Following are the results of the latest inspections around town.

The Winners
During the Jan.22 to Jan. 28 period, 27 passed. The three that did not were ordered to make required changes within two weeks. The following received passing grades:

1/22/2013: Prime 16, 172 Temple St., Score: 82; Sababa Falafel, 21 Whitney Ave., Score: 95; Crossroads, Inc., 54 Ramsdell St., Score: 91; Lalibela Ethiopian Restaurant, 176 Temple St., Score: 88; Clark Pizza & Restaurant, 68 Whitney Ave., Score: 89; Davis Street School, 35 Davis St., Score: 95

1/23/2013: Sheridan Mauro School, 191 Fountain St., Score: 93; Athenian Diner, 1426 Whalley Ave., Score: 84; Dunkin Donuts, 1350 Whalley Ave., Score: 95; Michael’s New Haven Catering, 600 Long Wharf Dr., Score: 84; Exhibit X, 84 Orange St., suite 1, Score: 96

1/24/2013: Premiere Hotel & Suites, 3 Long Wharf Dr., Score: 88; Victor’s Market, 491 Howard Ave., Score: 82; Clemente Pizza and Grill, 1302 Whalley Ave., Score: 86; Katherine Brennan School, 200 Wilmot Rd., Score: 95

1/25/2013: John S Martinez School, 100 James St., Score: 95; Pizza Hut, 864 Whalley Ave., Score: 90; Delaney’s Restaurant, 882 Whalley Ave., Score: 87; The Bar at Firehouse 12, 47 Crown St., Score: 90; Marco Polo Pizza Corp., 55 Crown St., Score: 86; The Key Club Cabaret, 85 St. John St., Score: 85; Los Primos Deli Mart, 660 Howard Ave., Score: 93; Cafe Nine, 250 State St., Score: 85; Dunkin Donuts, 864 Whalley, Ave., Score: 99

The 3 Needing Improvement
During the Jan. 22 to Jan. 28 period, the following three failed their inspections:

Sahara Middle Eastern Cuisine
170 Temple St.
Score: 75
Due: 2 weeks

• Refill paper towel dispenser at hand sink
• Clean baffels on hood system
• Touch up defective gaskets in cooler, clean gaskets
• Label product not in original container
• Touch up shelves, wipe shelves
• Wipe inside coolers and freezers
• Hang up mops and brooms when not in use
• Fix defective glass panes in window, clean wall tiles in walk-in, fix defective walls, wall junctions
• Don’t use plastic/styro-foam as scoops in food bin
• Touch up inside chest freezer, cooler, upright freezer
• Clean can opener blade, holder, and frame
• Missing light shields
• Clean tracks on slide doors
• Clean soda and juice racks in coolers
• Clean air vents, fix defective light shield in back, fix defective wall tiles
• Fix defective flooring, clean floors under and around equipment
• Store wipe cloths in sanitary solution
• Invert single-serve plates
• Don’t block access to hand sink

Dee Asian Kitchen LLC
163 Temple St.
Score: 72
Due: 2 weeks

• Water-stained ceiling tiles, wipe wall board, clean air vents
• Don’t store food products on the floor, use approved methods to defrost food products
• Wipe insides of coolers and freezers and microwaves
• Don’t store raw eggs over ready to eat foods (over exposed food products)
• Don’t line shelves in freezer with card board
• Invert single-serve containers
• Label products not in original containers
• Need thermometer in warmest location in coolers holding prepared hot foods
• Don’t wrap equipment with tin foil
• Don’t store food products under sink waste line
• Store single serve utensils with food contact surface protected
• Empty mop water bucket when not in use
• Follow label instructions on products that state “keep refrigerated”
• Don’t store toxic items with food products
• Label toxic items in spray bottles
• Clean floors under and around equipment

Great Wall Restaurant
1378 Whalley Ave.
Score: 78
Due: 2 weeks

• Hand sink not clean, using sanitizer
• Missing pump soap at hand sink, water in pump soap container
• Foods in reach-in not covered
• Missing light shields on back ceiling lights in food storage/prep area
• Freezer (upright) with ice build-up
• Scoop submerged in rice bucket
• Containers of food nesting inside each other
• Food worker drinking and cooking
• Contact paper lining shelves holding equipment
• Walls not clean
• Counter in disrepair
• Plastic container used as scoop with
• No handle, submerged in food bin
• Grease build up on hood and behind hood
• Outside of roaster greasy
• Cardboard lining floor, floor of reach-in with water
• Rx on counter in food prep area
• Two fry pans on roaster not clean
• Worn out broom an filthy dust pan stored on floor
• Replace stained ceiling tiles
• Throw out items and equipment not in use
• Missing labels on squirt bottles
• Containers of oil on floor
• No re-using plastic shopping bags to store food (noodles in reach-in)

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