Inspectors OK 35 of 37 Eateries
by Allan Appel | Aug 16, 2012 12:00 pm
Posted to: Food, Fair Haven
Wilson Reyes stared down evil—“FOG,” aka Fat, Oil and Grease—and got the health department’s OK to open a second Porky’s restaurant as a result.
FOG is health-and-restaurant-speak for the triad that must be trapped and filtered out at any eateries serving hot food in order to earn approval from city health inspectors.
If a place doesn’t have an acceptable food trap, a new, high level device can cost up to $5,000, said health inspector Brian Wnek.
Porky’s was among the 35 of 37 eateries passed by the health department between July 31 and Aug. 14. Most of those 35 were routine inspections or re-inspections triggered by previous violations. In the case of Porky’s and four others, the inspection was “pre-operational” for new establishments.
Any time a restaurant opens anew or changes hands, especially at license renewal time, health department secretary Lorraine Reed flags it and alerts inspectors to the range of official sign-offs required before opening.
That’s what Wilson Reyes encountered when he decided to build on the name recognition of his Porky’s cafe business up on Grand Avenue in Fair Haven by opening another Porky’s. He eyed a a tiny breakfast and lunch spot catering to the factory workers and early crowd down on Chapel at Blatchley for the new location. When he bought the business from Juan Reyes (no relation), he had to get a new license.
That meant he had to present to the health department approvals from the building, zoning, and the fire marshal departments.The last item before he passed: an approval from the Water Pollution Control Authority that he had the FOG trap appropriately sized for the square footage and grease-producing capacity of his new restaurant.
“It’s [just] fried eggs,” Reyes said, explaining that his breakfast and lunch nook produces little fat. “A regular trap is fine,” he said. That was already in place, but it had to be examined by the WPCA.
The approval came shortly after health department inspector Roslyn Hamilton visited Porky’s on Aug. 2. The place scored a solid 91 out of 100, but she noticed that the FOG trap approval was only “pending.”
A few days later, Reyes said, the WPCA inspector faxed the approval to Hamilton. Porky’s opened for business on Wednesday Aug. 8.
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.
The breakfast Porky’s is doing well, said Reyes’s daughter Crystal, who is running the shop with cook Rafy Reyes (also no relation). They serve 30 to 40 meals a day, with large portions at modest prices. On Wednesday, the special was “arroz con gandules,” or rice and beans; you could add “pernil,” or pork and “juka,” or cassava, all for $8.50
In the late fall or winter he hopes to reopen his dormant Porky’s on Grand for lunch and dinner crowds. There he has a special, larger trap to deal with “three fryolators” that fry up the large portions of “mufongos,” or plantains, central to Porky’s’ reputation.
Of the 37 eateries inspected between July 31 and Aug. 14, 35 passed. The two that did not were ordered to make required changes within two weeks. The following received acceptable grades:
7/31/2012: Smart Nutrition, 670 Washington Ave., Score: 85
8/1/2012: New Haven Meatball House, 1180 Chapel St., Score: 98; Haven Court Cornell Scott HHC, 400 Columbus Ave., Score: 91
8/2/2012: Porky’s Luncheonette, 161 Chapel St., Score 91
8/6/2012: Box 63, 338 Elm St., Score: 90
8/7/2012: CT At Your Convenience, 121 Grand Ave., Score: 93
8/8/2012: Westville Seafood, 1514 Whalley Ave., Score: 88; Ernie’s Pizzeria, 1279 Whalley Ave., Score: 93; Wireless Caribbean Kitchen, 246 Davenport Ave., Score: 84; One Stop Mart and Deli, 831 Orange St., Score: 89; The Water Club-Epicurean Feast, 545 Long Wharf Dr., Score: 83; Dollar Haven, 111 Derby Ave., Score: 86
8/9/2012: Fresh Taco, 39 Elm St., Score 83; Manjares, 838 Whalley Ave., Score: 84; Super Deli 7, 1613 Chapel St., Score: 83
8/10/2012: Star Diner, 485 Lombard St., Score: 88; Dunkin Donuts- Chapel West, 1179 Chapel St., Score: 96; Chapel Sunoco, 61 Chapel, Score: 83; TNT Deli & Grocery, 342 Whalley Ave., Score: 87; Mary, 521 Ferry, Score: 89; Hong Fu Chinese Restaurant, 149 Fitch St., Score: 90; Subway, 999 State St., Score: 84; Dunkin Donuts, 889 State St., Score: 83
8/12/2012: G.R.E.L.L. Enterprises, 550 Ella Grasso Blvd., Score: 87
8/13/2012: Abate Apizza & Seafood, 129 Wooster St., Score: 90; Soul de Cuba, 283 Crown St., Score: 85; Stop & Shop, 150 Whalley Ave., Score: 84; Dayton Street Pizza, 60 Dayton St., score 86;
8/14/2012: Body and Soul Solutions, 79 Dixwell, Score: 98; The Fat Sandwich, 89 George St., Score: 82;; Lessing Food Service, 110 Sargent Dr., Score: 88; Leon’s of New Haven, 501 Long Wharf Dr., Score: 81; New Mizu Japanese Restaurant, 47 Whalley Ave., Score: 89; S’Wings, 280 Crown St., Score: 84; Aramark, 1 Columbus Plaza, Score: 83
The Two Needing Improvement
During the July 31 to Aug. 14 period, the following two failed their inspections:
Sam Food/DB Mart
287 Blake St.
Due: 1 week
•Meat patties - 54 degrees F, destroyed
•Inside microwave not clean
•Inside reach-in sandwich stand not clean
•Meat slicer, chipped and flaking paint, spice shelf not clean
•Sides of grille not clean
•Shelves under grille and slicer not clean
•Dirty wiping cloths, wall behind grille not clean
•Toilet room not clean
•Sterilite plastic drawers not clean inside and outside
•Rotten onions, tomatoes, lettuce in sandwich reach-in
•Hood not clean
•Paper towel holder filthy
•Dish detergent only at 2-bay sink
•2-bay sinks filthy, walk-in refrigerator shelves not clean
•Exterior of deli cooler not clean
•Freezer (small) top not attached
•Broom stored on floor
•Deli cooler reach-in 63 degrees F inside
•Missing light shields overhead lights
•Cool slush machine not operating, empty and leave clean
•Drains for slush machine waste not clean
• Missing “No Smoking” sign on front door
Olive and Grand Foodmart
940 Grand Ave.
Due: 2 weeks
•Fix defective flooring, clean floor cracks, clean equipment
•Touch up walls, clean air vents, clean window sill
•Need self-closing door in bath
•Label products not in original containers
•Store wipe cloths in sanitary solution
•Don’t line shelf in cooler with paper, touch up shelves in coolers
•Clean tracks in slide doors, wipe shelves
•Fix defective glass in window, fix defective ceiling tiles
•Seal gaps in exterior doors
•Mouse droppings present
•Fix defective exterior equipment, wipe exterior of equipment
•Seal floor/wall junctions
•Don’t store food or drink on the floor
•Don’t sell baby food past expiration date on jar - addressed on site
•Replace shelf liner (vinyl) in cooler
•Clean inside cooler, hair restraints
•Fix leaking faucet in bathroom
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