Soup Kitchen Bests Restaurants; 5 Fail

Allan Appel PhotoIt doesn’t charge $12 for a cocktail or use white-linen tableclothes. The Community Soup Kitchen still outperformed some of New Haven’s swankier eating establishments in the latest round of health inspections.

Toriano Spell (pictured) and other volunteers with culinary experience may be one reason the CSK at Christ Church on Broadway got such stellar marks on its recent inspection outperforming many swanky establishments. Never mind that Spell got his culinary experience in jail.

On Thursday Spell brought the experience to the CSK spending the first of 20 hours of required community service to the long-established daily lunch eatery for needy people that serves upwards of 240 hot meals a day.

City health inspectors hold soup kitchens with the same standards and same unannounced inspection visits they apply to the swankiest restaurants. CSK scored a 92 out of a possible 100 on the most recent spate of inspections that spanned Aug. 28 through Sept. 12.

Out of 40 eateries inspected, 35 passed, and five failed. Of the 35 that passed, only 11 had scores equal to or exceeding the CSK, which is an independent organization that since 1977 has been using the kitchen and other facilities of Christ Church (Episcopal) at 84 Broadway.

City sanitarians inspect all of New Haven’s restaurants, groceries, bars, and any 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. (Scroll down in this story for specific results from the latest inspections.)

The only difference in the health department ‘s approach is that establishments that give food away are not required to pay a fee for being licensed, according to the department’s environmental health director, Paul Kowalski.

“Just because someone’s giving something away doesn’t mean they [the eaters] can get sick on it,” Kowalski said.

CSK Coordinator David O’Sullivan said that to serve the 59,625 hot meals the CSK provided last year requires about 50 volunteers a week every week of the year. Some come out of pure volunteerism; others like Spell are performing court-mandated community service.

Still others are vets, some on special PTSD recovery and other programs that send patients out into the community.  A good number end up manning CSK’s stoves, sinks, and prep stations. The volunteers are a changing cast; a good number have spent time in prison or military kitchens, or already, like Spell, have experience at MacDonald’s or other fast food restaurants.

CSK is the beneficiary.

A supporter’s 2011 bequest also enabled CSK to put in a practically brand-new kitchen.

“The inspector spent about 20 minutes” here, O’Sullivan said of the health department official who found few faults with the food prep, procedures, or facilities.

That made CSK cook Sherry Williams proud. One of the small changes she was required to make was to “store utensils’ handles facing same direction” so someone wouldn’t reach into the drawer and cut themselves.

Williams, a paid staff supervisor, said she doesn’t use volunteer helpers like Spell in the food prep until she gets to know and trust their work.

Like Mike Jones. He learned to cook in the army. He’s a volunteer at the CSK every morning at 6:30 to help prepare the hot lunch. Thursday’s lunch was spaghetti with meat sauce and salad. The breads were donated by Stop & Shop, and the pastry dessert came from the city’s two Starbucks.

Following are the results of the latest inspections around town.

The Winners

The following received passing grades:

8/28/2012: Skappo Italian Wine Bar, 59 Crown St., Score: 90; Skappo Merkato, 51 Orange St., Score: 94

8/29/2012:  Delmonaco’s Italian Market, 475 Townsend Ave., Score: 86Olive and Grand Foodmart, 940 Grand Ave., Score: 87; Hummel Bros. Inc., 180 Sargent Dr., Score: 88; Nelly’s, 691 Howard Ave., Score: 83;

8/30/2012: Chartwells, 700 Prospect St., Score: 88; Amistad Academy Catering, 130 Edgewood Ave., Score: 91; Amistad Academy, 130 Edgewood Ave., Score: 91; Mi Lupita Bakery, 269 Grand Ave., Score: 86; Albertus Magnus Coffee Bar, 700 Prospect St., Score: 94; R and R Food Mart, 410 Ferry St., Score: 94; Nutricion Para Una Vida, 302 Lombard St., Score: 93;Green Well Organic Tea & Coffee, 44 Crown St., Score: 81;Courtyard by Marriott at Yale, 30 Whalley Ave., Score: 84; Alchemy, 239 Crown St., Score: 85; Dollar King Corp., 224 Grand Ave., Score: 97; Lou’s Lodge 299 Blatchely Ave., Score: 88

8/31/2012: Kline Biology Tower, 195 Prospect St., Score: 84; Kelly’s Bar & Restaurant, 196 Crown St., Score: 92; College Quick Stop, 258 College St., Score: 87; Morning Glory Early Learning Ct, 1859 Chapel St., Score: 96; Hatties’s Catering, 84 Kimberly Ave., Score: 95; Univ. Place Residential Care, 5 University Pl., Score: 95; Ezra Stiles & Morse Dining Halls, 29 Tower Pkwy., Score: 89; C S I New Haven, 84 Norton St., Score: 86; People’s Choice Grocery & Deli, 734 Dixwell Ave., Score: 81; Community Soup Kitchen, 84 Broadway, Score: 92; Pizza Heaven, 410 Blake St., Score: 92; Pepe’s Open Air Mkt, 61 Kimberly Ave., Score: 82;

9/4/2012: A.F. Forbes, 401 Forbes Ave., Score: 85; Planet Apizza, 996 State St., Score: 89; Hanmi Oriental & Gifts, 1008 State St., Score: 94; Frisco’s Rest, 383 Forbes Ave., Score: 87; Quinnipiac Pizza Deli, 1653 Quinnipiac Ave., Score: 86

5 Need Improvement
During the Aug. 28 to Sept. 4 period, the following five failed their inspections and were given two weeks to make improvements:

Joy Kitchen
251 Grand Ave.
Score: 74
Due:2 Weeks

• Chicken fried on countertop, 89 degrees F
• Pans of food uncovered throughout
• Flies present
• Toilet room handsink missing hand soap and paper towels and toilet paper
• All doors propped open, or not tight
• Whole fish in walkin, source unknown
• Plastic squirt bottles missing labels, shakers of granulars also missing labels
• Plastic cups without handles used as scoops
• Plastic cups without handles submerged in bins of food
• Tops of food bins inverted on bins and not clean
• Cutting board for chicken pitted, worn, replace, get bar mesh to prevent sliding
• Using laundry bleach not approved for food service, look for Sanitize-Disinfect
• Cardboard lining shelves and not clean
• Rear room - low light
• Exterior of equipment greasy, not clean
• Repair holes in wall
• Missing “Smoking Prohibited” sign

Mama Mary’s Soul Food
372 Whalley Ave.
Score: 73
Due: 2 Weeks

• Provide liquid pump soap and paper towels with a holder at hand sink in front and all hand sinks
• Provide self-closing door on bathroom
• Hot water in bathroom must no exceed 115 degrees (125 at present)
• Hot water handle missing on faucet at 3-bay sink
• Store wiping cloths in sanitizer
• Clean pipes under sink
• Clean walls, repair damaged walls, clean door
• Properly store cleaning equipment, hang mops/brooms
• Clean wire racks
• Soiled foil lining shelves
• Replace damaged ceiling tile
• No paper towels at hand sink in back
• Broken plastic dry goods bins
• Clean overhead hood
• Provide light shield on bulb inside stand up refrigerator
• Clean refrigerator gaskets
• Provide thermometers inside all cold holding units, must be placed at hottest pt. of refrigerator, front
• Soiled bare wood shelves
• Rodent droppings present
• Clean sides of all equipment
• Eliminate all unnecessary articles
• Bulbs out, provide adequate lighting
• Clean floor throughout
• Properly label food product out of original containers
• Clean storage refrigerator
• Broken tops of reach in freezers
• Provide light shields on overhead bulbs
• Clean outside garbage area, grease container, etc.
• Garbage must be covered
• Eliminate unnecessary articles in back garbage area
• Clean mop bucket
• Provide complete separation of food service and non food service articles in basement
• Thorough cleaning throughout necessary
• Eliminate cups as scoops, provide scoops with handles
• Don’t store scoops inside food product

Christopher Martins
860 State St.
Score: 74
Due:  2 Weeks

• Provide light shields on overhead bulbs in back storage
• Damaged plastic curtains
• Cover food products during storage
• Rusty shelves under tables in back storage (garage)
• Bare wood storage shelves, rusty wire shelves
• No prep allowed in garage (slicer, mixer present and plugged in)
• Store wiping cloths in sanitizer
• Clean walls and ceilings
• Pitted and stained cutting boards
• Store single service articles inverted
• Provide thermometers inside all cold holding units, properly placed at front of refrigerator
• Soiled, rusty shelves under steam table
• Store plates inverted
• Clean refrigerator gaskets
• Pitted wall board, wall board down to bare wood
• Damaged stainless steel at dish wash area
• Properly store cleaning equipment, hang mops and brooms
• Clean overhead vent grate
• No reuse of single service containers
• Clean top of cooler
• Hot water in bathrooms must not exceed 115 degrees (currently 137)
• Cold water not working in handicap bathroom
• Provide covered trash receptacles in women’s bathroom
• Heavily soiled carpeting in stairwell of basement, damaged in storage area
• Damaged ceiling in basement
•  Clean basement
• Designate hand sink at bar and provide soap and paper towels

Scarpellino’s Restaurant
257 Forbes Ave.
Score: 77
Due: 2 Weeks

• Food containers stored on walk-in floor
• Storing pan and spoon in kitchen hand sink
• Refrigerator display case 58 degrees
• Foil lined shelf over stove top
• Inside microwave not clean
• Cooking utensils stored face up on kitchen counter
• Fruit salad in display case 55 degrees
• Sanitizer in third bay 200 parts per million, no more free pouring, one capfull bleach
• Some floor tiles broken
• Missing labels on squirt bottles of liquid and shaker containers of granular
• Missing “Smoking Prohibited” sign at entrance

New State Garden
952 State St.
Score: 76
Due: 2 Weeks

• Clean and sanitize hand sink, must be used for hand washing only
• Clean faucets
• Clean and repair damaged walls
• Broken light shield
• Flies present
• Rust on shelves under stainless table
• Thorough cleaning of all equipment necessary throughout
• Soiled, damaged wiping cloths
• Eliminate damaged equipment
• Cover all food products during storage
• All food containers/products must be stored off floor
• Clean shelves in walk in closet, rusty shelves
• Store raw food under cooked and ready to eat food
• Provide thermometers inside all cold holding units
• Clean floors under and behind equipment
• Clean garbage cans
• Clean overhead vent grates
• Utensil storage in food can
• Clean dry good bins
• Eliminate cups as scoops, provide scoops with handles
• Don’t store scoops inside food product
• Properly store cleaning equipment, hang mops and brooms
• Clean walls, doors, etc
• Clean tops of freezers in basement
• Clean cobwebs in basement on ceiling
• Properly label food product out of original container
• Store single service articles inverted
• Store wiping cloths in sanitizer
• Replace stained, pitted cutting boards
• Clean shelves in front counter

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posted by: Billy on September 7, 2012  11:27pm

Congratulations to Ms. Williams and Mr. O’Sullivan for the excellent score and the recognition for the vital and heartfelt service you provide week in and week out. You are two of the pillars of our New Haven Community.