Health Department Roundup

Health Department Roundup

Water is getting scarcer, grass is getting more brittle and the list of parts of the house in which it's acceptable to hang out while wearing only underwear is expanding to include the front yard. The other day we took a shower with no hot water on at all and it was still too warm. So all we're saying is, even though it makes the roundup a little more difficult, we don't blame health inspectors for the relatively low report output they've produced lately. Actually, we wouldn't blame them if they sat in their offices all day with box fans pointing at their crotches, doing "remote inspections" based on which establishments sound kind of dirty. But they don't. And out of respect for their efforts, we'll keep doing our job. Here are the four worst offenders of the past week.

Memorial City Mall's Le Petit Bistro, which is French for "chain restaurant," has les problems. A June 30 inspection turned up 15 violations, we think - four of the violations were for multiuse equipment that's poorly designed or maintained. We've never seen that before, and it could denote four separate instances or a simple data entry error. We suspect the former, since one of the violations is listed as being corrected on site. But even giving Le Petit Bistro the benefit of the doubt, 12 violations (though no citation) is pretty bad. The worst ones include potentially hazardous food held at the wrong temperature; spoiled, contaminated or mislabeled food; food-contact surfaces that were not clean to sight and touch; and dirty floors. Merde.

China Inn (82 E. Crosstimbers) had only two violations (one repeat), but both dealt with food internal temperature issues. It must have been pretty bad, because inspectors issued a citation. If you can't trust an anonymous-sounding Chinese place, what can you trust?

Wingstop (1425 Wirt) had six violations, with a couple of standouts. This one was new to us: "Plastic/wet strength bags used for storage outside the food establishment." Which is apparently against the rules. Which the manager might have known if he or she had a Food Service Manager's Certification. Another new one: "No backflow device installed to prevent the backflow of solids/liquids/gas contamination into water supply at each point of water use in establishment." Our advice: bring a flask of "adult water" everywhere. No more potential backflow contamination at wing places, your kid's soccer games, pre-trial hearings, etc.

Souper Salad (1574 W. Gray) earned nine violations, none of which were related to the fact that if you close your eyes and ignore texture then every item on the buffet mostly tastes the same. Actual violations included dirty non-food-contact surfaces; refuse receptacles that were either leaking, not insect- or rodent-proof, or not durable/cleanable; food not held at proper temperatures; and openings to the outside that were not protected from pests.

Establishment Name of the Week: Fittingly, day care facility Attitude Respect -N- Manners (9755 S. Kirkwood) had a violation-free inspection last week. And it sounds like the clean version of Bone Thugs-n-Harmony that never really took off.

Follow Eating Our Words on Facebook and on Twitter @EatingOurWords

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Blake Whitaker
Contact: Blake Whitaker