NORWALK, Conn. — With a volunteer waitstaff and no fixed menu, Norwalk’s St. Ann Club is unlike many establishments inspected by the city’s health department. The club also stands out in its health ratings: It passed multiple inspections last year with flying colors.
Mayor Harry Rilling and Health Department officials presented the club with a certificate in recognition of its top lighthouse rating, which the city awards to eating establishments that receive top-flight scores on an average of three or four inspections throughout the previous year.
Rilling, who has dined at the club many times, praised the club for its all-volunteer foodservice staff and the quality of its food.
“I find the food not only to be excellent, but I find all the procedures in place to make sure that everything is done properly,” Rilling said. “I tell you it’s just a wonderful place.”
Norwalk Director of Environmental Services Thomas Closter said it's difficult for eating establishments to maintain high ratings. Small violations add up. Combined, they can push an establishment under the award threshold.
In practically every establishment, kitchen staff use wiping cloths to clean food preparation surfaces. If the cloths are not in a sanitizing solution, the dining establishment will lose points on their score, for example.
But the St. Ann Club is among the 190 restaurants and food establishments to receive a top lighthouse rating from the health department, according to the city.
Club President Sal Fratino said he appreciated the recognition.
“Reputation means the world,” Fratino said, adding that the club is known for offering great value for its members. It is also famous for its menu, which includes the legendary sausage and peppers served up during the club’s annual feast.
The ratings for all food establishments in Norwalk are available on the health department’s website here.
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