Health & Wellness

Westfield Board of Health Meets with Restaurant After Repeat Violations

b33f8086d720dfe3ed22_71e52420827e177e9744_IMG_6142.JPG
The Westfield Board of Health spoke with Luis E. Alvarez of Old Havana Monday night. Credits: Leah Scalzadonna
b33f8086d720dfe3ed22_71e52420827e177e9744_IMG_6142.JPG

WESTFIELD, NJ — The Westfield Board of Health held a hearing with Luis E. Alvarez, owner of Old Havana on Elm Street, to discuss the restaurant’s recent board of health violations at Monday night’s meeting.

The restaurant has been cited with three less than satisfactory ratings since January 2015. Its most recent inspection took place on Feb. 14, during which health inspector Helen Menendez found numerous violations, including “pink and brown slime on the interior of the ice machine,” according to her report.

“We’ve shut it off since then and it’s about to be replaced,” Alvarez said of the ice machine.

Sign Up for E-News

Alvarez also insisted that he purchased a new dishwasher. Old Havana had previously been cited for a lack of detectable sanitizing liquid, according to Menendez.

“During working hours, you will find something that’s not right,” Alvarez said. “But we’re doing our best.”

Further violations from Menendez’s most recent inspection included potential for cross-contamination and a worker making a sandwich with his bare hands.

“We feel that we have not been treated right, maybe because we’re Cuban,” Alvarez said.

Alvarez claimed that the board of health unfairly interfered with his business by conducting an inspection on Valentine’s Day, which he said is a busy day for his restaurant.

“I want to be very clear with the board and with you that you are not here because you’re Cuban,” health officer Megan Avallone said. “The reason that you are brought in here today is because you have an over two-year history of not being able to comply with the food code. What makes people sick is [lack of] food safety.”

Other board members agreed with Avallone.

“It’s to Westfield’s great benefit to have diverse restaurants in town,” board member Alicia Barker said.

At the end of the hearing, the board agreed to close the restaurant for two days after any rating that’s less than satisfactory within the next year, with the dates determined by the board. Additionally, Alvarez must hire an in-store trainer to certify his staff in food safety. The certifier’s contact information will be provided by Avallone.

“We want to do it right and try to improve ourselves every day,” Alvarez said.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Westfield

Plainfield Man Dead, Scotch Plains Woman Critically Injured in Shooting

June 25, 2018

PLAINFIELD, NJ — A shooting that left a Plainfield man dead and a Scotch Plains woman seriously injured in Plainfield late Saturday is under investigation, acting Union County Prosecutor Michael A. Monahan announced Sunday.

The deceased victim has been identified as Michael Welsh, 34, of Plainfield.

Plainfield Police Division patrol units responding to a ShotSpotter gunshot ...

Synopsis of Westfield Board of Education Meeting on June 19

June 22, 2018

I opened the Board meeting on a somber note, announcing the death of sophomore student Carthoris ‘Carter’ Uziel.  Words cannot convey the grief we feel in the Westfield Public Schools community over his death.  We extend our condolences to the Uziel family.  I noted that school counselors are available for all students or staff who may wish to discuss their feelings ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_ba23f8d0d41677854e89_spb-4937_newsletter_june_26

Tue, June 26, 7:00 PM

TD Bank Ballpark, Bridgewater

Somerset Patriots vs. New Britain Bees Baseball ...

Sports

Carousel_image_5b249c4a7e6808d9d7bb_spb-4937_newsletter_june_27

Wed, June 27, 7:00 PM

TD Bank Ballpark, Bridgewater

Somerset Patriots vs. New Britain Bees Baseball ...

Sports

Carousel_image_295f5001319d0d50ecf4_spb-4937_newsletter_june_28

Thu, June 28, 7:00 PM

TD Bank Ballpark, Bridgewater

Somerset Patriots vs. New Britain Bees Baseball ...

Sports

Westfield Police Blotter: Criminal Mischief to Vehicles Continues & More

June 20, 2018

June 13, 2018 9:24 a.m.

Officer Santangelo arrested Hakan Kaya, age 46, of Westfield, New Jersey on an outstanding warrant (#E19490) in the amount of $304.00 out of Neptune City Municipal Court pursuant to turning himself in at WPD Headquarters. Subject was processed and released after posting the full bail amount.

 

June 13, 2018 11:02 a.m.

Lieutenant McFarlean and Officer ...

Rotary Club Scholarship Awards Ceremony Luncheon

June 25, 2018

WESTFIELD, NJ — Philip Salerno, president of the Rotary Club of Westfield, convened the 97-year-old service organization’s annual Scholarship Awards Ceremony Luncheon on June 12 at the Westfield Area Y announcing that 18 college-bound Westfield students, would be the recipients of scholarships totaling $98,000.

Rotarian Carl Peer, chairman of this year’s scholarship ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast Episode 17

On this week’s AtlantiCast, it’s National Men’s Health Month, so check out important health tips for you or the men in your life, learn about groundbreaking research into breast cancer treatment that could mean an end to chemotherapy for some patients, meet a local sports hero who’s living his baseball dreams thanks to Goryeb Children’s Hospital and much ...

'Half Time' delivers with sterling cast

MILLBURN, NJ – The Paper Mill Playhouse is putting on a smashing new production of “Half Time” to round out its current season.

With actress Georgia Engel in an engaging performance, the cast also features Donna McKehnie, Andre De Shieilds and Lilias White, among a host of other talents.

The musical centers on an effort to have seniors perform a dance number during ...

Let's Talk About Suicide

In our world today, it seems our children, no matter the town, state, education, family unit, socioeconomic background, ethnicity or religion are grappling with complex, confounding and complicated issues not even fit for a middle-aged adult. Sadly, one of these issues is suicide. With mental health gaining more attention, the stigma appears to be dissipating but when a mental health ...

Summertime Air Quality Issues

Summer weather can be harmful to your health due to air pollutants like ozone, mold, and moisture that are more prevalent both inside and outside than they are during cooler months. 

Sunny days, warm temperatures, and light winds don’t allow pollutants to be cleared from outside air. Instead, they encourage the formation of ozone, a leading air pollutant.  Ozone is ...

Understand the New Law for Paid Sick Leave

Paid sick leave is now the law in New Jersey.

New Jersey has passed a paid sick leave law which preempts paid sick leave ordinances adopted by several cities and towns so there is now one uniform law in this area for New Jersey employers. Here is what you need to know about the new law.

33 Homes Sold June 10 to June 17 in Westfield, Scotch Plains, Fanwood, Mountainside & Cranford

Thirty-three Homes sold from June 10 to June 17, 2018, in Westfield, Scotch Plains, Fanwood, Cranford and Mountainside.*

 

TOWN         ADDRESS                      STYLE    ...

Westfield 3rd Graders Receive Top Honors at Mock Trial Competition

Westfield third graders recently received top honors for three mock court cases they presented at the New Jersey Bar Foundation Law Fair.

“I am proud that, out of 84 entries submitted, our third grade students (now fourth graders) in the Gifted Program have won 1st Place, 2nd Place and Honorable Mention in the 3rd Grade category [of the Law Fair ...

Maximizing Your Portfolio’s Returns -- Beware the Taxman

The old adage in the investment world is that it is not what you make, but what you keep that counts.  Investors often overlook the ultimate deflator of portfolio returns – the taxman. An astute global asset allocation should be the number one priority for investors.  However, there are preferred ways to distribute this asset allocation over the spectrum of taxable and ...

Greatness

In honor of the Lubavitcher Rebbe's (of righteous memory) 24th  Yahrtzeit (anniversary of his passing) this coming Saturday the 16th.

Excerpts from an address given by Nobel-laureate Elie Wiesel on April 7, 1992, at a congressional dinner held in Washington on the occasion of the Rebbe's 90th birthday.

Some of you are aware of my admiration, not only ...

Healthy U Spring Symposium Marks 10 Years of Community Impact

WESTFIELD, NJ — More than 100 Healthy U champions and partners from YMCAs and schools from all over the state gathered at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford on May 18 to celebrate 10 years of community impact. Healthy U was also formally presented with the 2017 CATCH® Award for Excellence in State Health. 

CATCH (Coordinated Approach to Child Health) is the ...

Bridgewater Mall Shut Down for 2 Hours After Fight Breaks Out

June 14, 2018

BRIDGEWATER, NJ — No injuries have been reported after a fight involving a crowd of people shut down the Bridgewater Commons Mall for two hours Thursday evening.

According to a Nixle alert from the Bridgewater Township Police Department at 9 p.m., the investigation at the mall has been completed, and the mall was resuming normal business operations.

According to Somerset County ...

Obituaries

Eric Lieberman, 47, of Scotch Plains, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly Tuesday, May 22, 2018 ...
Read more