Not So Great News from the Health Department

We scanned the Houston Department of Health and Human Services reports from August 20 to September 4 and found these places among the offenders.

Café Red Onion (3910 Kirby) Let’s start with the good news. Café Red Onion’s bar was inspected August 25 and was found to have no violations (that’s Health Department-speak for A-OK).

Tomo Japanese Restaurant (1517 Westheimer) got half a dozen ordinances on September 2. The biggest violation was employees mishandling food (no gloves, hand sanitizer, or appropriate utensils). There were also concerns about unclean floors, inadequate hand washing supplies, lack of covered trash cans in the restrooms, and failure to post their inspection report.

Okay, no tops on the trash cans – can get messy, but not a huge violation. Failure to post an inspection report, also not a big deal. But then there are those hand washing issues. This is a sushi restaurant, so everyone handling the food should be sterilized from the elbow down. Not having hand washing sinks fully stocked and available to employees is a big no-no.

Ruggles (903 Westheimer) Inspectors also visited Ruggles on September 2. The place was cited for failure to clean equipment/utensils properly and for not marking the food containers in the fridge. It was also slapped on the hand for not maintaining the floors in good repair, not storing the ice dispensing tools properly, failure to maintain the equipment, and no tops on trash cans in the restrooms (was this a theme on Westheimer?).

Max’s Wine Dive (4720 Washington) got reprimanded for not having hot enough water in the hand washing sinks at the bar on September 2. The kitchen had half a dozen repeat violations including not marking food in the fridge, no thermometer in the fridge, and storing food incorrectly. And then there was the issue of owning/operating a food establishment without a Food Service Manager’s Certification. Those all seem easily fixed, but as these were repeat violations, seems Max’s is a little slow on the uptake.

Berryhill in the Heights Baja (702 East 11th Street) was naughty on September 2. The bar had equipment/utensils that were not cleaned frequently enough. So did the kitchen (this was a repeat violation). Food stored in the fridge was not clearly marked, food was not protected from cross-contamination and (here we go) Berryhill’s had food that was not safe for human consumption. (All three violations were corrected during the inspection.) There were also some issues with food storage lacking a working thermometer and potentially hazardous food not being cooled quickly enough.

Olivia Flores Alvarez


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