Five Trumbull restaurants fail health inspections in June, July

TRUMBULL — Five of 10 restaurants inspected by city health department staff in June and July did not receive passing scores, according to city records. However, all of those restaurants have since corrected their problems, a city health official said.

Of the five, four of the restaurants are located in the Westfield Trumbull shopping center – Arepa Bar and Grill, Guacamole’s Mexican Cuisine, Pretzel Maker and Sarku Japan. The fifth is New England Young at Heart, which provides meals for the Trumbull Senior Citizens Center.

Restaurants – and other establishments that serve food – are rated on a 100-point scale, with one to four points deducted for violations noted by the inspector. A restaurant is considered to have failed inspection if it scores below 80 or is found to be in violation of any of the four-point factors. The four-point violations include holding food at an improper temperature, lack of adequate handwashing facilities and other factors.

Restaurants that fail their inspection are generally required to undergo a follow-up inspection. Sarku Japan, however, was an exception to this rule. The restaurant received 85 points in the July 27 inspection, with a four-point violation for not keeping food at the proper temperature.

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

Sark’s parent company, in a written response from its customer service division, noted “The matter was handled locally and did not require further action by the Department of Health.”

Of those food service establishments ordered to be re-inspected, Pretzel Maker scored an 84 when it was inspected on June 23 and received two four-point demerits — one for “failure to wash hands in a timely manner” and the other for “sanitizer bucket not labeled.” , says the inspection report. The bar was re-inspected on July 12, at which time it passed with 98 points.

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

Andrews said the restaurant corrected its problems on the spot, but that there would be another re-inspection. Manager Mani Akbar confirmed the inspections and said someone from the city was expected to come again soon.

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

Andrews said Guacamole’s corrected its problems on the spot and will not need a re-inspection.

Representatives of the restaurant were offered an opportunity to comment, but did not.

An off-mall food service provider, Young at Heart New England, received an 86 when it was inspected on June 21, with two four-point violations — one for its improperly concentrated sanitizer and one for having a scratched can. It was reinspected on July 21 and received 95 violations and no four points.

Michele Jakab, Trumbull’s director of human services, which includes the senior center, said the cases were handled quickly.

“I was notified immediately by New England Young at Heart and everything was corrected immediately,” 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 of 98.

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