School Cafeterias Score High in Health Inspections; ‘Risk Factor’ Violations at NCHS, Saxe and West


Each of New Canaan’s six public school cafeterias scored at least 95 points out of a possible 100 in recent unannounced inspections by the New Canaan Health Department.

Three of the cafs were cited for more serious “risk factor” violations during inspections conducted by Sanitarian and Restaurant/Food Inspector Carla DeLucia—one each at the high school, middle school and West School. East School earned a perfect 100.

The overall scores were:

  • East: 100
  • South: 99
  • West: 97
  • Saxe: 98
  • NCHS: 95

Here are the details, noted by the sanitarian, at the most recent inspection for each school—risk factor violations are noted with an asterisk:

East (Jan. 11)—zero violations

South (Jan. 11)—one violation:

  • Nonfood-contact surfaces designed, constructed, maintained, installed, located: “Boxes of food stored on floor with rack—store on dollies, drainage rack/shelving.”

West (Jan. 14)—two violations:

  • Sanitization rinse (hot water – chemical)*: “3-bay sink needs to be properly set up prior to start of service—only a few inches of water in 3rd bay & sanitizer low—chlorine 0-10—use test strips for accuracy.”
  • Walls, ceilings attached, equipment properly constructed, good repair, clean. Wall & ceiling surfaces as required: “Replace ceiling tile (back areas near walk-in freezer).”

Saxe (Jan. 11)—one violation:

  • Food protected during storage, preparation, display, service & transportation*: “Food items (chicken tenders, grilled cheese uncovered at hot holding table) … Services & equipment added at service windows without approval – 1 employee to take card/cash.”

NCHS (Jan. 13)—four violations:

  • Handling of food minimized*: “Provide a longer spoon/utensil for croutons at salad bar; spoon submerged in croutons.”
  • Food dispensing utensils properly stored (same as above).
  • Nonfood-contact surfaces designed, constructed, maintained, installed, located: “Crates used for food container storage throughout walk-in units and storage areas. Provide drainage racks/dollies/shelving.”
  • Floors: Floor covering installed, constructed as require, good repair, clean: “Replace tile below lockers.”
  • Restaurants and cafeterias “fail” an inspection when cited for a major, 4-point violation, or if violation points assessed total more than 20.

None of the school cafeterias failed during inspections conducted in January. The last time each of them did earn a major violation/fail was:

  • East—Jan. 12, 2007: badly dented cans found in stock room;
  • South—Jan. 23, 2012: improperly cooled chicken soup;
  • West—June 1, 2010: cream cheese, butter, sour cream and shredded cheese all improperly stored on top of a tray of frozen ice; overly diluted bleach sanitizer at 3-bay sink;
  • Saxe—Jan. 26, 2012: dented, 6-pound can of Furmano’s chickpeas stored in dry storage area;
  • New Canaan High School—Sept. 1, 2015: cooked chicken kept at improperly low temperature.

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