UConn hospital main kitchen among 7 to fail health inspections

Five restaurants, a hospital’s main kitchen and a retirement community are among those who failed the Farmington Valley Health Department inspections in the last four months because they were unable to correct priority health violations on the spot.

All have since passed re-inspection.

The FVHD Health District’s Food Services coordinator, Jason Brown, said health inspections have “a lot of moving parts,” because restaurant kitchens are a “fast paced, ever evolving” atmosphere.

Brown said restaurants can also have high employee turnover, necessitating constant training in the regulations.

Brown echoed other health department experts in the state who said the inspections exist to help keep the public safe from foodborne illness and to educate restaurant owners and staff.

“Mitigation and education,” are the key words, Brown said.

In the newest inspection system being used in Connecticut, most serious are “priority” violations or those most likely to contribute to foodborne illness.

Health inspection experts have said all the establishments are safe to eat in or they would have been shut down.

Sometimes those more serious violations can be corrected on the spot — for instance, throwing out meat held at the wrong temperature. Other times it take a little time.

The restaurant inspections were obtained by a Freedom of Information request by The Hartford Courant.

Those with priority violations who were unable to correct them on the spot include:

Chef Jiang, 1600 South East Road, Farmington. Inspected Jan. 29, 2024.

An inspector’s notes included that the inspection came about because of a complaint about a mouse spotted onsite.
The inspector noted there was no thermometer in a walk-in cooler; incorrect food temperatures; potentially hazardous food at the wrong temperature; mouse droppings and activity observed on top of ice machine and on a cooling rack where food is stored; hood unclean with grease dripping.

Neither the owner nor the manager returned phone calls.

UConn’s John Dempsey Hospital, Farmington, main kitchen. Inspected Jan. 22, 2024.

An inspector’s notes included that there were food items at wrong temperatures; no handwashing after being on phone, touching face; exterior of equipment on line unclean; microwave unclean; pasta cookers leaking; old cheese (discarded by manager); constant drip in hand sink.

A spokesperson for the facility wrote in an email, “UConn Health has no comment.”

Abigail’s Grille and Wine Bar, 4 Hartford Road, Simsbury. Inspected Jan. 23, 2024.

An inspector noted numerous food temperature issues; stuffed mushrooms near a hand sink; marinara in buckets placed in walk-in cooler on top of each other; prepared foods stored in fridge not labeled or dated.

No one could be reached for comment at the establishment.

Mama Lukes 372 Scott Swamp Road, Farmington. Inspected Jan. 2, 2024.

An inspector’s notes included: onsite flu; food temperature issues; insufficient soap, paper towels at hand sink; soda gun holders in bar unclean; raw eggs stored over produce in walk-in; interior of basement ice machine unclean; no written procedure for response to diarrhea, vomit.

Neither the manager nor owner could be reached for comment.

Village Gate retirement community, 88 Scott Swamp Road, Farmington. Inspected Dec. 5, 2023.

An inspector noted on the report there were food temperature issues, walls, ceilings, vents, dusty.

No one at the facility returned calls for comment.

Talcott Mountain Collective, 140 Nod Road, Simsbury. Inspected Feb. 23, 2024.

Inspector notes attached to the report note issues with proper temperatures.

No one at the collective could be reached for comment.

Golf Lounge 18, 110 Albany turnpike, Canton. Inspected Jan. 2, 2024.

An inspector’s notes stated the eatery had improper thawing of food; dish racks on the floor; microwave interior unclean; interior of two-door refrigerator unclean; ice machine interior unclean.

A person who answered the phone and didn’t want to be identified said, “no comment.”


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