Health Department Roundup

In honor of the Fourth of July, we offer Health Department Roundup, a celebration of regulations and code enforcement, concepts as American as apple pie. Provided the pie in question was baked in a code-compliant kitchen. If not, you'll face the consequences. Drinking a soda while you roll dough? That's a paddling. Depositing apple filling under less than 20 foot-candles of light? That's a paddling. Don't even ask about the punishment for paddling the city Health Department's official canoe.

Lankford Grocery (88 Dennis), famed for its nap-inducing burgers and other comfort food, does not care too much about your feelings. Upset about having to wait for your food? Don't like that they don't take credit cards? Angry that they don't hold food at exactly the right temperature, and don't employ hair nets, and don't make use of proper storage devices and dollies? Tough shit. (All of the violations in that last sentence were corrected on site, anyway.)

Simo's Diner (5004 N. Shepherd) got hit with half a dozen violations but no citation during an inspection last week. Those included improperly designed or maintained equipment or utensils; food stored too close to the ground; dirty bathrooms; and microwaves that weren't cleaned daily. Not sure how inspectors know the microwaves aren't cleaned daily, unless they're just that dirty. Either way, adjust your cleanliness scale to "diner" setting, and Simo's is basically pristine.

This isn't all that surprising, but the Chuck E. Cheese at 4432 North Freeway has a couple cleanliness issues. A Friday inspection turned up nine violations. The worst were poisonous/toxic materials not kept separate from food items; single-use articles stored too close to the floor; a dishwashing machine that wasn't cleaned once daily as required by code; and sinks and soap dispensers not kept clean/maintained. And there was a violation that seems to be a catch-all for a place that's just dirty: "Equipment/food-contact surfaces/utensils not clean to sight and touch." No word on the state of the ball pit.

Strange Name of the Week: Health inspectors hit a dozen areas of Memorial Hermann (6411 Fannin) last week. Areas inspected included "main kitchen," "bakery area" and "cafeteria/food court." Also, an area called "jazz salad," which sounds like something that as a kid you'd get in trouble for doing to your little brother. We have no idea.

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