It’s tough to see a longtime restaurant fail two health inspections in a row, as the Allegro Cafe on Franklin Avenue did recently. Whose fault, though, the restaurant or the inspection process that, this year, brings new attention to city restaurant kitchens?
Here’s this weekend’s TBL:
At its best, the city’s new ordinance requiring restaurants to post letter grades from their most recent health inspection informs the public and encourages high kitchen-hygiene standards.
Some restaurants don’t think so. Allegro Café, a proud family operation serving Italian comfort food for 38 years on Franklin Avenue, was shut down last month by city officials after failing its second inspection in a little more than two weeks.
It closed April 13, then scored an A on a re-inspection the following Monday. That A, on an 8.5-by-11-inch notice posted in the restaurant’s front window, now greets customers. Yet it has left Paul Misseri, whose father, Giuseppe, owned and operated the Allegro for 35 years until his death in 2009, angry at the city’s new program and the attention it has attracted.
More . . .
The Environmental Health Division of the city’s Department of Health and Human Services inspects restaurants using a checklist form with more than 100 items, deducting anywhere from one to four points for each violation. A single four-point violation related to hygiene, food preparation, drainage or sewage is an automatic failing grade. Any restaurant with a score below 80 faces an automatic re-inspection. The state’s public health code requires food-service establishments maintain a minimum score of 80 — a B in the Hartford system. Restaurant with an A in the Hartford system received a score of 90 or above.
The city of Hartford has not yet inspected all restaurants using the new system. To search the database of the 200+ restaurants which have been inspected under the new system, choose one or more restaurants by name or type in a partial address. To see a list of all restaurants currently in the database in a sortable table, leave the restaurant name and address fields blank and click SEARCH.
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