Health Department Roundup

Health Department Roundup

City health inspectors were busy last week - busy enough to offer us plenty of dirt to dig through in the form of negative restaurant health inspection reports. For this installment we'll stick to the most egregious offenders, because if it bleeds, it leads, and if it gets written up for an improperly fitted sneeze guard, then it's good enough for Health Department Roundup.

Based on its inspection report from June 16, the downtown McDonald's (808 Dallas) is probably a lot like that part in Apocalypse Now when the bridge at the end of the world is repeatedly blown up and rebuilt, except with soft serve available. The fast food stop was cited for 11 violations, including employees working with ready-to-eat food not utilizing hand sanitizer or gloves; food that was either spoiled, filthy or mislabeled; single-use items stored too close to the ground; insufficient number of trash cans; food held at improper temperature; and unclean/poorly maintained walls and ceilings. There was also a violation that said, "Food employee did not wash hands and exposed portion of his/her arms or surrogate prosthetic device for hands and arms for 20 seconds. (sic) before starting work/during work to keep them clean." This would probably make Grimace cry. And that guy is normally pretty hard.

Another chain nightmare: IHOP #1429 (13388 Northwest Freeway) was cited for 14 violations. Those included spoiled or mislabeled food; food held at improper temperatures; unwashed employee hands/prosthetics/hooks/whatever; dirty non-food-contact surfaces; potentially contaminated ice; dirty floors; openings to the outdoors that could let pests in; and the manager's lack of proper certification. You decide if unlimited pancakes for five bucks is worth it.

Before we looked it up, the only thing we knew about Club Exotica (12330 Gulf Freeway) was that it's a place that doesn't have 110-degree water, or a test kit to measure cleaning solution, or a Food Dealer's Permit. After looking it up, we now know that it's a strip club near Ellington Field. The health code violations led to a temporary closure, so if you're in the area and you're hungry, may we instead recommend the Golden Corral down the street? Actually, we will continue to recommend the Golden Corral down the street even after the Club Exotica closure is lifted.

Hater of the week: Whoever dimed out Always Fresh Produce (2520 Airline), which was inspected Tuesday based on a complaint. Sure, AFP didn't have a valid produce dealer's permit, but no other violations were reported. Who complained, then? Someone with a bureaucracy fetish? With apologies to Johnnie Cochran (kind of), if the produce is fresh, you must not protest.

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Blake Whitaker
Contact: Blake Whitaker