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Thursday, December 13 News

New Canaan lunch program plagued by recent issues sited for mold and warm milk

NEW CANAAN — The New Canaan High School cafeteria has been a point of interest in the past months.

Two months ago, a lunch lady working at the cafeteria was charged with larceny for allegedly stealing over $300,000. Now, in the last week of September, the cafeteria failed a health inspection.

According to an inspection report carried out by the town’s Health Department on Sept. 28 at 1 p.m., New Canaan High School merited a single four-point violation — which results in an automatic failed inspection — in the food protection category.

“Milk at 54 degrees Fahrenheit — reach-in refrigerator by cook line,” the report reads. The milk was subsequently thrown out by the high school’s food services director and thus “corrected during inspection.”

According to Chris Wegrzyn, a sanitarian in the town’s health department, the milk must be kept at 41 degrees Fahrenheit per state code.

Even just a single four-point violation results in an automatic failure of the inspection, Wegrzyn explained. The points add up to a total of 100; a single four-point violation or a score lower than 80 points results in a failed inspection.

“Inspections are done every six months,” Wegrzyn said. “Following the (Sept. 28) inspection, there is a mandatory re-inspection to be made in the next two weeks.”

The Sept. 28 inspection of the high school cafeteria details a total 11-point deduction that includes “rusted” and “moldy” shelving in walk-in refrigerators, an “unclean” interior of ice machine and “raw meats above ready-to-eat food” in a walk-in freezer.

Superintendent of Schools Bryan Luizzi said the four-point violation that caused the cafeteria to fail the health inspection was related to a technical glitch.

“Over the past few weeks each of our five kitchens were evaluated by the health department and four of our five schools scored quite well. Unfortunately, at NCHS a small refrigerator used to temporarily hold food during preparation unexpectedly tripped off on the day of the inspection,” Luizzi wrote.

Luizzi said that the district was addressing the issue with the health department.

“Nonetheless, as a result of the refrigerator tripping of, the high school kitchen score was reduced and mandatorily rated down. We have spoken with the health department directly and we look forward to having the NCHS kitchen reevaluated the next few days,” Luizzi added.

humberto.juarez@hearstmediact.com

Humberto J Rocha|Reporter

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