January restaurant reports — Trumbull schools excel

TRUMBULL — Parents of Trumbull students can rest assured that when their children eat lunch at school, the food is being prepared in some of the cleanest kitchens in town.

Three Trumbull schools — Frenchtown and Daniels Farm elementary schools and Hillcrest Middle School — earned perfect 100-point scores on their January inspections by the town’s Health Department. Jane Ryan (99), Madison Middle (98) and Trumbull High (98) also earned stellar scores, as did Christian Heritage (97) and St. Theresa (96). Cooperative Educational Service’s Lindeman Drive cafeteria also earned a perfect 100-point score.

On the other end of the scale, the Health Department issued failing grades to Bridges at Trumbull, Cornerstone Children’s Center, Italian Corner Deli and the Watermelon ice cream shop.

Trumbull health inspectors visit each eatery in town quarterly, grading each establishment on a 100-point scale for cleanliness and healthful practices. Inspectors deduct between one and four points for each violation. Any score under an 80 is considered failing, and a single 4-point violation will also result in a failing grade, even for a restaurant that earns a relatively high overall score.

That is what happened to Cornerstone, which had only one violation - a 4-point deduction for chlorine sanitizing solution that was too strong. Sanitizer is supposed to be mixed at one teaspoon of bleach to a gallon of warm water, a dilution that allows for germ-killing but still wipes and evaporates leaving no residue. Cornerstone’s overall score was a 96, and the inspector reported the too-strong sanitizing solution was corrected on-site during the visit.

Bridges scored an 86 overall with the inspector noting dish racks stored on the floor and food scoops stored in stagnant water. The failing grade, though, came from damaged food cans. The cans were discarded during the inspector’s visit, according to the report.

Although seemingly a minor violation, dented cans are a significant health concern. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends discarding any can with a dent more than a finger-width deep, and any can with a dent on any seam.

The primary danger of serving food from a dented can is the potential spread of botulism, a rare but serious illness that attacks the body’s nervous system. It can result from air and bacteria entering a can through a pinhole-sized opening.

The results of the January inspections of Trumbull restaurants is as follows. Eateries that failed their inspections have a brief explanation.

Bianco Rosso - 94;

Bridges at Trumbull - 86 (damaged cans, dish racks stored on floor, food scoops stored in stagnant water);

CW Resources - 97;

Cooperative Educational Services Main Cafe - 99;

CES Muffins & More - 99;

Christian Heritage School - 97;

Cinnabon - 98;

Cooperative Educational Services (Lindeman Drive location) - 100;

Cornerstone Children’s Center - 96 (Chlorine sanitizer exceeds maximum level);

Crown Pizza - 91;

Daniels Farm School - 100;

Frenchtown School - 100;

Healthy House Fitness Cafe - 91;

Hillcrest Middle School - 100;

Italian Corner Deli - 92 (cold food held at 52 degrees);

Jane Ryan School - 99;

Madison Middle School - 98;

Mex on Main - 88;

Old Towne - 96;

Panera - 97;

Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen - 95;

Pretzel Maker - 95;

St. Joseph’s Manor - 92;

St. Theresa School - 96;

Starbucks (938 White Plains Road) - 96;

Stop and Shop - 96;

Taste Garden Cafe - 91;

Ten Asian Bistro - 89;

Trumbull High School Culinary Cafe - 97;

Trumbull Food Mart - 94;

Trumbull High School - 98;

Watermelon - 80 (Chemicals stored near food, flies, food stored on floor);

Watermelon (reinspection) 95.