Health & Wellness

Westfield Board of Health Discusses Restaurant Violations, Tobacco Sales to Underage Consumers

The Board of Health spoke with Qazim Magjuni and Sam Bek of Fiamma Wood Fire Pizza on Monday night. Credits: Leah Scalzadonna

WESTFIELD, NJ – A hearing took place between the Westfield Board of Health and Fiamma Wood Fired Pizza on Quimby Street at Monday night’s meeting.

According to health inspector Alison Kasica, Fiamma received three consecutive conditional ratings between May of 2016 and June of 2017 for recurrent issues, mainly the hand-washing sink and the cooling temperatures for foods. Fiamma was represented by Qazim Magjuni and Sam Bek, two of its three owners.

“On my first visit, In the prep area the water was completely turned off on the hand-washing sink,” Kasica said. “On my second visit, they removed the hand wash-sink completely and had replaced it with a prep sink, making no hand-washing sink available. There’s one hand-wash sink in the front area.”

Sign Up for E-News

According to Magjuni, the hand-washing sink was moved out due to construction and was replaced by an unused prep sink, which he did not know could be substituted for a hand-washing sink. The employees were draining pastas and soups in the dry compartment of a three-basin sink, he said. Since then, the hand washing sink has been put back.

“This is our worst nightmare,” Magjuni said. “We pride ourselves on being one of the better restaurants.”

Magjuni also said that the food temperatures are inconsistent due to an overcrowding of the refrigerator, which he plans to remedy by installing an additional refrigerator. Items on the top of the fridge were properly cooled but items on the bottom were too warm, which he blamed on the compressors underneath the unit that blow out hot air.

“We plan to buy another unit,” Magjuni said. “Next week we’re going to buy a fridge and spread out the load.”

Lastly, Kasica said she spotted a single cockroach in the sink during her most recent walk-in visit. She agreed that it was an isolated incident, and Magjuni hired a new exterminator that comes once a week, he said.

In attendance at the hearing was Sherry Cronin from the Downtown Westfield Corporation, who said Fiamma is one of Westfield’s most successful restaurants.

“Fiamma is one of the most important restaurants we have,” Cronin said. “It’s known as one of the top restaurants in the state for pizza.”

The Westfield Board of Health agreed that if Fiamma receives a rating that’s less than satisfactory within the next year, the restaurant must close for two days. Magjuni also promised that the restaurant will be satisfactory by next week, when Kasica will return.

Following the hearing, the board discussed Vine Ripe Markets, which mislabeled food last month. According to Helen Mendez, Principal Health Inspector, the store sets its own sell-by dates.

“They can put whatever sell-by date on there that they want as long as it’s not spoiled,” Mendez said.

Vine Ripe Markets can set its own date on all items except dairy, Mendez said.

Additionally, Mendez said the Empanada Guy, who was issued a summons by the Westfield Municipal Court, has improved following a court hearing regarding unsatisfactory conditions.

“Things have gotten a lot better since the summonses were issued,” Mendez said. “They’ve done a lot of training and hired food safety specialists. Unfortunately, they took the summons as an issue for them to come into this ordinance.”

Lastly, the board reviewed tobacco regulations in Westfield. They had previously discussed raising the age to purchase tobacco products in Westfield to 21, but Governor Chris Christie recently raised the age to 21 state-wide.

According to Megan Avallone, Health Officer, there were 14 sales of tobacco products to underage consumers last month. Only four of those violations took place in Westfield, with the rest occurring in other towns inspected by Westfield health inspectors.

Raceway gas station on Central Avenue has violated tobacco regulations three times, Avallone said. Raceway is charged an increased fine with each violation but the board of taxation will review the gas station's license to sell tobacco, Mendez said.

“We’re letting each location know about the change in law and that they’ll get an official notice from the board of taxation,” Avallone said.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Union County Democratic Committee Elects New Chair

February 22, 2018

CLARK, NJ – The vote for the Union County Democratic Committee (UCDC) chairmanship came to a conclusion Wednesday night when 748 committee members from the county’s 21 municipalities descended on the Gran Centurions in Clark to vote for their new party leader.

State Senator Nick Scutari won with a 412-341 victory over Fanwood Mayor Colleen Mahr in a battle that had become ...

Mayor Brindle’s Update

February 15, 2018

The following are highlights from the update that Mayor Shelley Brindle gave at Tuesday night’s town council meeting.

I first want to congratulate Nick Calello and David Went for their promotions to patrol officers in the Westfield Police Department. I’d also like to welcome and congratulate new Patrol Officer Fortunato Riga, who joins the police department this week upon his ...

Upcoming Events


Thu, February 22, 8:30 AM

Hilton Garden Inn, Hamilton , Hamilton

Defending Your Independent Contractor & Wage & ...

Business & Finance Education Law & Justice


Thu, February 22, 10:00 AM

Camp Riverbend, Warren

Camp Riverbend Wacky Winter Olympics Open House



Thu, February 22, 5:00 PM

Barnes & Noble, Clark

Purim Story & Crafts Hour at Barnes & Noble


Westfield Police Blotter: Man Steals 60 Pairs of Pants from Downtown Store & More

February 21, 2018

February 14, 2018 10:53 p.m.

Officers Gill and Weiss arrested Luis Murillo, age 30, of Rahway, NJ, for two outstanding warrants out of Westfield Municipal Court ($500) and Woodbridge Municipal Court ($500) pursuant to a motor vehicle stop in Scotch Plans Township. Subject was transported to headquarters, processed and released after posting requisite bail.


February 15, 2018 5:24 ...

Giving Back: Learn How to Help Victims of Sexual Violence

February 22, 2018

Every year since 1984, trained volunteers with the Union County Rape Crisis Center have helped victims of sexual violence through the emotional, medical and legal aftermath of trauma. New volunteers are welcome to join the next series of training classes beginning on Thursday, March 22.

No previous experience in crisis counseling is necessary.

“Over the years our Rape Crisis Center ...

‘Month of Hope’ at Wilson School

Inspired by the HOPE Week Initiative introduced in 2009 by the New York Yankees, Mr. Joseph Malanga, principal of Wilson School and a fan of the American League professional ballclub, declared January the “Month of Hope” at Wilson.

Malanga called on the school’s faculty Acts of Kindness Committee to choose the charitable organizations to be recipients of the weekly donation ...


AtlantiCast: Episode 12

On this week’s episode of AtlantiCast, decade of excellence makes headlines, as Atlantic Health’s place on Fortune Magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For List leads off the newest episode of AtlantiCast. Also on this week’s show, check out the newest “hybrid” operating room at Morristown Medical Center and find out how Atlantic Health is helping local ...

Would the Stock Market Affect Your Home Purchase?

"Fasten your seatbelts; it's going to be a bumpy night." ("All About Eve.") While most people misquote this as "It's going to be a bumpy ride," the actual quote works better for the movie. Bette Davis delivers this with the classic style that made her one of the most loved actresses of her generation.

Well for the stock market it’s been a wild bumpy ...

Good News in NJ for Veterans

Beginning in the 2017 tax year, New Jersey will give an additional $3,000 exemption for military veterans. You are eligible to claim this exemption NJ state income tax return if you are a military veteran who was honorably discharged or released under honorable circumstances from active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States on or before the last day of the tax year.


The ...

Sinai or Sanctuary?



And in the beginning, G‑d was homeless, and so G‑d asked His people to set Him up with some digs. Where does it say that? Well, nowhere, actually. But it does say that G‑d instructed Moses to tell the people, “They shall make for Me a Sanctuary, that I may dwell among them.”

Now the question is, was G‑d really homeless? ...

How to Talk with Kids About the Florida Shooting

February 13, 2018

The tragedy of the Florida school shooting is devastating, leaving 17 killed and 15 injured. Our children can easily identify with what occurred yesterday. It will be the topic of conversation today in schools everywhere. School administrators are doing all they can to provide support and guidance. The shootings affect children, teachers, and school personnel. The school shooting ...

Love Craft Beer But Hate the Tour? State Assembly Moves to Make it Easier for You to Belly Up to the Bar

Good news is a brew for New Jersey craft beer advocates. In February 2018, the New Jersey Assembly’s Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee paved the way for the introduction of Bill A2196, which would remove a current licensing rule requiring breweries and distilleries to provide a tour of their facilities before serving alcoholic beverages to consumers. Currently, breweries holding a ...

'What Stays' exposes family secrets and lies

‘What Stays’ exposes family secrets, resentment and lies

By Liz Keill

SUMMIT, NJ – In an original play by Laura Ekstrand and Jason Szamreta, the Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre has provided an enlightening, funny and heart-felt view of family foibles.

Ekstrand has said that the germ of the play came from conversations with the ensemble members of the troupe, based on ...

Is FAANG Long in the Tooth?

Investors love to rally around a stock story. Today it’s all about the FAANG stocks. Facebook (FB), Amazon (AMZN), Apple (AAPL), Netflix (NFLX) and Google (GOOG) are a major reason why the S&P 500 rallied so much in 2017. Mr. Market is convinced the FAANGs are impervious to a sell-off. “Its different this time” is ringing loud and clear, but will the outcome really be that ...

Imagine a Chatham Toboggan Ride from the Top of Fairmount Avenue to Main Street

Did you know….
there was a time when Chatham kids could ice skate from downtown Chatham all the way to Florham Park? And that a toboggan ride could last from the top of Fairmount Avenue down to Main Street and beyond?

Those were the days!

This was back in the early to mid-1900s. The Passaic River meandered through grassy meadows and woods on the north side of Chatham. The marshy ...


Kathleen Marie Christian (nee Helmstetter), age 73 of Surf City, NJ, passed away peacefully at home ...
Read more

Cops Called for Two People Shouting Racial Slurs During ‘Black Panther’ in Sparta

February 21, 2018

SPARTA, NJ – Sparta police were called to the New Vision Sparta Theater on Sunday night after a drunken woman and her boyfriend interrupted a screening of the movie “Black Panther” by shouting racial slurs, according to a witness and police.

Former New Jersey Assembly candidate Michael Grace was in the theater when two people started yelling racial slurs including ...