Health Department Roundup: Houston Heights

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This week on Health Department Roundup, we visit the historic Houston Heights, and marvel at our city's most aggressively quaint neighborhood. And the grimiest corners of its restaurant kitchens.

An April 9 pre-opening inspection at Les Givrals (4601 Washington Ave.), found the floors not constructed of smooth, durable materials in several areas of the kitchen and the wall or ceiling not maintained in good repair. There also was insufficient lighting provided in at least one area of the kitchen.

At Mount Olive Food (722 W. 19th St.), an April 8 pre-opening inspection found, again, that the floors were not constructed of smooth, durable materials in several areas of the kitchen and, again, that less than 50 foot-candles of light were provided in at least one area of the kitchen.

Inspectors had the most work at Andy's Home Café (1115 E. 11th St.), where they responded to a complaint with an April 5 inspection.

There, they found an employee drinking from an open beverage container in a manner which contaminated his or her hands and exposed food to contamination. Contamination was also the buzzword on two other violations: one that found equipment, utensils, glassware or plates not handled properly and another that found single-service articles not stored at least 6 inches from the floor in closed cartons.

Nonfood-contact surfaces of equipment also were found not to be cleaned often enough to keep the equipment free of accumulation of dust, dirt or other debris.

Inspectors also found no shielding or shatter-resistant protection provided for artificial lighting located in several areas of the kitchen, and ventilation filters not cleaned at sufficient frequencies to prevent accumulations.

Potentially hazardous food was refrigerated for more than 24 hours without being clearly marked when it was opened and when it should be used. Multiuse equipment or utensils not made of safe materials or not maintained in good repair.

The cavities or door seals of the microwave were not cleaned at least once a day, floors were absorbent in several areas of the kitchen, and hand-washing sinks not were protected with easily cleanable material.

Lastly, insects not prevented from entering the kitchen through doors, windows or screens.

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