Health Department Roundup

Health Department Roundup: Cali, Tiny Boxwood's and a Short Film

Terry McCoy's blog on HPD apparently targeting Oh My Gogi (Terry really loves saying "Oh My Gogi") has raised questions about the city's motivations for going after food trucks, as well as law enforcement's role in health inspections. Meanwhile, regular old health inspectors are still doing the job they were hired to do while police get all the attention. This must be what it feels like to have a December 25 birthday, or be Mormon on St. Patrick's Day.

Out on the grind, inspectors kept busy this week. First, we'd like to offer congratulations to Cali Sandwich (3030 Travis), which had a perfect re-inspection Tuesday. Cali is the second place we ever ate banh mi. The first was the restaurant in that weird mall that used to be where the block of an apartment complex between Milam and Travis sits now. Inside the mall there was the restaurant, a perpetually closed photo studio and a glass-walled storage area where older Asian men smoked cigarettes among various kinds of crap that might have fallen off the back of a truck. We cannot remember the name of the restaurant, but they sold a pork skin sandwich. Have we brought this up before in Health Department Roundup? Who's the president? What year is it?

Ouisie's Table (3939 San Felipe) did not do as well, earning seven violations but no citation. Issues included spoiled or mislabeled food; egg products not used as substitute for specified foods; raw animal foods not properly separated in a way that prevents contamination; potentially hazardous food held at improper temperatures (repeat violation); and poorly designed or maintained equipment.

Tiny Boxwood's (3614 W. Alabama) had similar issues, racking up six violations but no citation. Issues there included potentially hazardous food held at improper temperatures (corrected on site); poorly designed or maintained equipment; egg products not used as substitute for specified foods; and food out for display or on the line with no protective covering (corrected).

Joe's Deli (3729 W. Alabama), a no-frills sandwich shop with a handful of locations around town, received a citation after inspectors found eight violations. Those included spoiled or mislabeled food; single-service/single-use articles not dispensed properly; bare-arm/bare-hand contact not minimized; single-use gloves not discarded after interruption in service or becoming soiled; single-service/single-use articles being reused; unapproved pesticide in use; food stored in improper areas; and no Food Dealer's Permit.

Napoli (5551 Richmond) also got a citation. Inspectors found five problems: no protection for artificial lighting; hand-washing signs not posted; sinks/soap dispensers/hand dryers not kept clean or in good repair; dirty non-food-contact surfaces; and the likely kicker, a repeat violation for not having a Food Service Manager's Certification.

The Ruchi's location on 5201 Richmond earned seven violations (no citation), including potentially hazardous food not held at proper temperature; utensils dispensed improperly; no Food Dealer's Permit; and wall/ceiling in poor repair. The best part is, except for the wall/ceiling issue, all the violations were repeats, and none were corrected on site. God bless Ruchi's.

Awesome Video of the Week: This video is SFW, unless you work at an animal rights organization. If you're ready to buy the ticket and take the ride, we give you Gulshan E Iqbal Hala Meat & Groceries.

Yes, the last half is a weird commercial for a marketing company. And yes, the Health Department cited Gulshan E Iqbal (6121 Hillcroft) after finding a dozen violations during a recent inspection. (Those included food not protected from potential contamination; food stored too close to the floor; no Food Service Manager's Certification; effective pest-control measures not utilized; dirty floors; openings to the outside not protected; and food stored in unclean or uncovered containers.) Also, the video currently has only 105 views, 0 likes and 1 dislike. But can you sign a receipt with the same intensity that Mr. Loyalty Valor Express does? We're betting the "don't pass" line here.

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Blake Whitaker
Contact: Blake Whitaker