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Cranford Restaurant 'Can't Get Hand Washing Straight,' Board of Health Says

The Board of Health considers instating fines after Calabria Pizzeria failed inspection four times.

Megan Avallone of the Westfield Regional Health Department, Monika Koscova-Jencik of Cranford's Board of Health and Attorney Daniel J. McCarthy at the Aug. 12 Board of Health meeting. Credit: Nicole Bitette
Megan Avallone of the Westfield Regional Health Department, Monika Koscova-Jencik of Cranford's Board of Health and Attorney Daniel J. McCarthy at the Aug. 12 Board of Health meeting. Credit: Nicole Bitette
The Board of Health suggested during their meeting Monday night that the township allow them to instate a monetary fine increase for each time an establishment did not pass inspection after having to visit Calabria Pizzeria four times since May due to a “Conditionally Satisfactory” rating.

A “Conditionally Satisfactory” rating is given to an establishment when they have one or more violations that need to be rectified.

Megan Avallone of the Westfield Regional Health Department said that the department has visited Calabria each month since May and the establishment continues to not meet standards particularly in hand washing/sanitation. 

“I’m not comfortable with an establishment that can’t get hand washing straight for 4 months,” Avallone said.

She stated that specifically there were issues with a hand washing station not being easily accessible, no paper towels or soap in the restrooms and some food not protected from contamination.

Mayor Thomas Hannen asked the board at what time do they close an establishment down. Avallone stated to close down a location there must be an immediate public health concern such as a sewage backup or no running water.

Both Avallone and Monika Koscova-Jencik of Cranford’s Board of Health suggested to the committee that the Board be able to instate fines for each time a restaurant fails inspection.

The suggestion was to fine an establishment $100 if they did not pass inspection after the second visit. Following that, it would be a $200 fine plus $150 inspector charge and the fourth failed inspection would be a $400 fine plus $150 inspector charge.

Avallone explained that Cranford uses a part-time health inspector so each additional time he has to visit an establishment, it is costing Cranford the hourly rate of his services, which is why she suggested the additional inspector fee.

Additionally, if the board decided to host a mandatory board hearing after the third failed inspection, owners could explain the issues they are facing that cause them to fail inspection and the board could decide if it should result in a closure of the establishment.

The Cranford Committee agreed at the Aug. 12 Workshop Meeting to move forward on creating an ordinance on the fining procedures for the Board of Health to present either at Tuesday’s or the first September Official Committee Meeting.

Rocco Russo August 14, 2013 at 02:17 PM
its a good thing there are a dozen other pizza places in town...
Brian M Kochera August 14, 2013 at 06:28 PM
Bords of Health all over New Jersey should make establishments post a grade in their window like they do in New York City.
Linda August 16, 2013 at 09:00 AM
I'm glad I switched to a different pizzaria long ago!
pcisme@me.com September 04, 2013 at 01:00 PM
Thank you Patch.com for publishing this story. It is really important. Calabria Pizza used to be my favorite pizza place. Not any more. I will never set foot in the place or pay for anything there. To fail a health inspection once is a mistake but four times? That's just wrong and disgusting. Shame on them for subjecting their customers (like me for 3 years) to such unhealthy conditions. Yuck.

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