Health Department Roundup

Health Department Roundup

You know what Jesus was doing around Easter? Getting crucified and coming back from the dead to hang out in the Middle East instead of in paradise with his dad, for some reason. You can learn about the first part of this in Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ, as well as bestseller The Bible, if you're into books.

You know what city health inspectors were doing around Easter, about 2,000 years later? Not as much as usual, apparently. They inspected only 30 or so places last week -- many fewer than normal -- and issued no citations or closure orders. They also hit up an unusual number of non-restaurant establishments, like stadiums and convenience stores. (No idea if those types of places are easier to inspect, or if they were simply due.) Good for them for relaxing a bit. Everyone deserves a break, right?

Apparently not the Taco Cabana at 13480 Northwest Fwy., which an inspector visited on Easter Sunday. (This T.C. was the only place inspected on Easter.) It received only two violations -- one for potentially hazardous food stored at improper temperatures (corrected on site), and one for dirty food contact surfaces/utensils (repeat violation). Can't blame them, though. If I were a fast food employee working on Easter, I'd alternate between 1) being really high; 2) avoiding utensil-cleaning duty; and 3) filling out Chik-fil-A applications. Another Taco Cabana, this one at 700 North Loop West, earned a terrible report the following day - check out the 16 violations here.

Hammerly Conoco (2303 W. Sam Houston Pkwy. North) got hit hard on Easter Monday, which is a holiday in Canada, where they also have the goofiest money we've ever seen:

(We're sorry you can't see the faces here; it's a bunch of mini-Canucks who look like they're halfway between receiving their anesthesia drip and passing out while the local dentist/trapper/snowplow repairman counts down from ten. Except they're playing hockey.) The grocery section received six violations, including dirty equipment/utensils/surfaces (repeat); dirty bathrooms (repeat); and improperly implemented waste receptacles. Smoken Pit BBQ, located in the Conoco, received ten violations, including improperly packaged food; utensils stored in an unclean manner (repeat); a lack of a hand-washing sink with hot water; dirty equipment/utensils/surfaces; and a missing Food Service Manager's Certification (repeat). The worst part is this was a re-inspection. Still, according to the report, inspectors did not issue a citation or order a closure.

Rice Stadium earned a violation for no manager with a FSMC present. Not sure if there was even an event going on. Anyway, we wrote off Rice Stadium when whoever operates that thing decided we were no longer allowed to run on the stairs. Maybe if Rice isn't into following the health department's rules, then we're not into following Rice's stadium rules. I mean, it's not like Rice even follows its own founder's "WHITE PEOPLE ONLY" rule. (A very good rule to rescind, of course, in the opinion of everyone who isn't an asshole.)

Fun Quote We Learned This Week While Trying to Come Up with a Theme: Jesus said, "Life is more than food." (Luke 12:23) Take note, foodies, or you'll end up sending out Twitpics of whatever they serve in Hell.

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Blake Whitaker
Contact: Blake Whitaker