South School Rebounds with Near-Perfect Score on Health Inspection


After failing its most recent health inspection, the food services staff at South School earned a near-perfect score following an unannounced visit from a town sanitarian this month.

The school during an unannounced May 2, 2017 inspection had been cited by the New Canaan Health Department for a major violation—the first such problem found there through dozens of inspections in more than five years.

Specifically, a health inspector found that a 2-door Hobart cooler was at 63.7 degrees—far higher than required, according to records obtained by

In surprise inspections, municipal health officials note any violation on a form that categorizes and grades each of them from one to four, with four being the most serious. A total of 100 points are possible, and each violation is deducted from that score. A food service establishment is said to have “failed” an inspection if its total score is less than 80 or if it’s cited for a 4-point violation.

Prior to the May 2017 inspection, the South School cafeteria staff had an active streak of passing going back Jan. 23, 2012.

During a March 5 visit, a Health Department sanitarian found just three minor violations at South—namely: a walk-in door did not open when the handle was pushed; a hole was found in the floor where wiring comes up under a prep table; and a cover base/wall juncture in a dry goods storage room wasn’t sealed.

Here’s how the other schools fared during the most recent inspection:

  • West School—99 (cited on March 19 after an inspector found a gap between exterior metal doors)
  • Saxe Middle School—perfect score of 100 (March 19)
  • East School—perfect score of 100 (March 5)
  • New Canaan High School—99 (shelving in the walk-in refrigerator found to be unclean during March 20 visit)

The last time each of the other schools failed an inspection due to major violations was:

  • East— 16, 2016: chlorine sanitizer in a wiping cloth bucket at a toxic level;
  • 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—26, 2012: dented, 6-pound can of Furmano’s chickpeas stored in dry storage area;
  • New Canaan High School— 23, 2016: A 2-door reach-in fridge at NCHS was found to be at 50 degrees, higher than required.

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