Five Trumbull eateries fail health inspections in June, July

Photo of Amanda Cuda

TRUMBULL — Five of the 10 restaurants inspected by town health department staff in June and July didn’t receive passing scores, according to town records. However, all of those restaurants have since corrected their issues, said a town health official.

Of the five, four of the restaurants are located at Westfield Trumbull mall — Arepa Bar and Grill, Guacamole’s Mexican Cuisine, Pretzel Maker and Sarku Japan. The fifth is New England Young at Heart, which provides meals to the Trumbull Senior Citizen Center.

Restaurants — and other establishments that serve food — are scored on a 100-point scale, with between one and four points deducted for violations noted by the inspector. A restaurant is considered to have failed inspection if it scores below an 80 or if found to be in violation of any four-point factor. Four-point violations include holding food at the improper temperature, not having adequate hand-washing facilities and other factors.

Restaurants failing their inspection are generally required to undergo a follow-up check. Sarku Japan, though, was an exception to this rule. The restaurant received a score of 85 at its July 27 inspection, with one four-point violation for not holding food at the correct temperature.

Shaquaisha Andrews, registered sanitarian with the Trumbull Health Department said the issue was corrected on-site and did not require a re-inspection.

Sarku’s parent company, in a written response from its customer service division, noted “The issue was dealt with on-site and required no further action from the Health Department.”

Of those food service establishments that were ordered to re-inspection, Pretzel Maker scored an 84 when it was inspected on June 23 and received two four-point demerits — one for “not handwashing at appropriate times” and the other for “sanitizer bucket not labeled,” according to the inspection report. The restaurant was reinspected on July 12, at which time it passed with a score of 98.

Arepa Bar and Grill received a score of 84 when it was inspected on July 26, but had one four-point deduction, for not holding food at the proper temperature. When the restaurant was reinspected on Aug. 9, it received a 94, but also got another four-point violation, again for holding food at the improper temperature.

Andrews said the restaurant corrected its issues on site, but that there would be another reinspection. Manager Mani Akbar confirmed the inspections, and said someone from the town was expected to come again soon.

Guacamole’s Mexican Cuisine was inspected on July 29 and received a score of 73, with two four-point demerits — one for food not stored at the proper temperature and one because its sanitizer wasn’t at the proper concentration. When the restaurant was re-inspected on Aug. 15, it received a score of 86 with one four-point violation, for food at the wrong temperature.

Andrews said Guacamole’s corrected its problems on site and won’t need a reinspection.

Restaurant representatives were offered an opportunity to comment, but did not do so.

The one non-mall food service provider, Young at Heart New England, receive a score of 86 when inspected on June 21, with two four-point violations — one for having its sanitizer improperly concentrated and one for having a dented can. It was re-inspected on July 21 and received a 95 and no four-point violations.

Michele Jakab, Trumbull director of human services, which includes the senior center, said the issues were dealt with swiftly.

“I was notified immediately by New England Young at Heart and everything was rectified right away,” she said.

No food service provider inspected during this time received a perfect score of 100, but BubbleHolic Bubble Tea, which is in the mail, received the top score with a 98.