Health Department Roundup

No citations or closures in the past week, at least according to the Health Department's site. But the local restaurant scene has not devolved into an orgy of unpunished dirt accumulations and poorly maintained/designed utensils. Actually, we've got a new record this week.

The unfortunate distinction goes to the Dimassi's Mediterranean Buffet at 8236 Kirby. The kitchen racked up 11 infractions - bad, but not all that unusual. Combine that with the 10 violations inspectors hit the buffet area with, though, and that's the most single-day violations we've ever seen at 21. Here are the highlights. Kitchen: Food either spoiled, contaminated or mislabeled; accumulated dust, dirt or debris; no "temperature measuring device" (AKA a thermometer?) for use on potentially hazardous food; improperly installed or operated ice machine; dirty vent filters and dirty floors. Buffet: Unused utensils stored in an unsanitary way or unnecessarily left on premises; dirty vent filters; dirty walls or ceilings; and potentially dangerous food held at improper temperatures.

Had to be somewhere we've eaten and kind of like, didn't it? Anyway, here are some additional violators.

Southern Maid Donuts (6449 Richmond) got hit with eight violations during a routine inspection. Those included food less than six inches away from the floor (corrected on site via a complex maneuver that involved moving the food in question to at least six inches away from the flood); no Food Dealer's Permit; no Food Service Manager's Certification; and dirty floors and non-food contact surfaces. Also, Southern Maid got written up for "Unnecessary person trafficking through food preparation area." "WE TOLD THAT DANG BOYFRIEND OF YOURS NOT TO HANG AROUND THE KITCHEN WHILE YOU ON THE CLOCK, DARLENE!"

First Baptist Church (7401 Katy Fwy.) was truly blessed with four kitchen violations. We know cleanliness is next to godliness, but is it a horseshoes/hand grenades situation? Or has the kitchen in this house of worship strayed from "the path," which most theologians agree is not an actual track-like thing that you walk on but a way of describing a personal relationship with Jesus Christ? Either way, First Baptist's sins included improperly stored utensils; no device installed to prevent backflow of solids, liquids or gas into the water supply; floors that aren't easily cleanable; and no sign instructing employees/volunteers/whoever to wash their hands. I wonder who's behind this? Could it be...Satan?

Game Room WTF of the Week: Weird enough that gaming operations - some of which involve illegal gambling - are too prevalent for the city to rein in, yet the Health Department manages to hit 'em up fairly regularly, citing them for serving food without permits. And now we see the Wayside Gameroom (803 S. Sgt. Macario Garcia Drive) get a pre-opening inspection - health inspectors are really on top of what vice can't be bothered with, it seems. It's worth noting that Wayside had a completely clean inspection, and we have no idea if any illegal gambling will actually go down at this particular facility.

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