Firehouse Deli fails inspection, passes second try

FAIRFIELD — Firehouse Deli, a popular Fairfield restaurant, was the only business to fail its health inspection in the month of February. They passed a subsequent inspection two weeks later.

Businesses in Fairfield fail Health Department inspections when they receive a score below 80 out of 100 or when they receive a single four-point deduction. A second inspection is generally scheduled for two weeks after the initial assessment.

Out of 52 inspection the Health Department conducted in February, Firehouse Deli was the only business to fail.

The deli received an 84 on the inspection, which took place on Feb. 5, but had one four-point demerit for employees not properly washing their hands.

The report said the major deduction happened when a gloved employee grabbed a bottle of bleach while making egg sandwiches and moved it under the sink. The report said they did not replace the gloves or wash their hands but went on to handle food.

Another markup the report noted was due to uncovered buckets of sauce on the basement floor when they needed to be covered and at least six inches off the ground. The deli also lost points for having gaskets and a cutting board that needed to be replaced.

The restaurant passed the inspection with a 96 in the followup inspection that happened on Feb 15.

Bill Auer, the owner of the Firehouse, said the main issue was that an employee did not change their gloves enough. He said the town could be more proactive in its approach to business cleanliness.

“I’ve (been in the restaurant business) for 40 years,” Auer said. “If (the Health Department) spent 3 hours at each establishment trying to properly teach employees the way to do things, that might result in better inspections.”