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Saturday, March 17 Restaurants

These are the cleanest restaurants in the Valley

More than 100 restaurants throughout the Lower Naugatuck Valley received an “excellent” rating at their last inspection, according to recent health records.

Sherman's Taphouse, The Hops Company, Crave, Massimino's Pizzeria, AriBella Restaurant, Creative Kitchen all ranked among the cleanest restaurants in the Valley.

Zani’s Pizza, a family-owned pizzeria with takeout and delivery, is one of 35 restaurants in Ansonia to get an "excellent" rating following an inspection on October 31. Gary Imetovski, manager at Zani’s Pizza, attributes the restaurant’s perfect health grade to the food safely training of two of his food attendants who graduated from Naugatuck Valley Community College’s Culinary Arts program.

“It’s all common sense,” Imetovski said. “Preventing cross-contamination is very important. For example, you use different bowls for chicken, for salad, for different meats. You don’t want to contaminate one food with another food.”

Meanwhile, Connecticut is in the process of changing its scoring-method for restaurant inspections, and will adopt the U.S. FDA Food Code statewide beginning July 1, 2018. For many Valley towns, that means phasing out numerical scores on a 100-point scale and switching to a simpler letter grade system. Critical violations that could cause foodborne illnesses will still result in a failing grade, but re-inspections of restaurants with poor grades will not be automatically guaranteed.

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In June 2017, health inspectors in Valley towns, including Ansonia, Derby, and Shelton, started rating restaurants with letters ranging from A for excellent, B for good, C for fair to D for poor. The new letter grades will soon be displayed on the district’s official website.

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For a full list of food inspections, click here.

“We believe this gives a better representation of how an establishment performs than a number score,” said David Rogers, the assistant director of Naugatuck Valley Health District in Seymour.

Click through the above slideshow to see some of the restaurants that earned perfect scores on their health inspections.

Sophia Tewa|Producer