Health Department Roundup: Inconsistency Edition

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Hope everyone had a good New Year's Eve. We spent a few hours the next day lying in a cool, empty bathtub cursing that smug baby with the "2012" sash. (Only 11 more months of this crap, then we're coming home, Acan.) The Health Department spent the end of 2011 and beginning of 2012 entering reports that seemed engineered to mystify us. See what you think.

The meat market at Droubi's (2721 Hillcroft) was closed temporarily for one violation - lack of a Food Dealer's Permit. That's a serious violation, but you don't often see a place get stuck with a closure when it's the lone transgression.

The Ruchi's at 5708 Chimney Rock suffered similarly. For two violations - wall/ceiling not in good repair and no one with a Food Service Manager's Certification on hand - the Mexican restaurant earned a citation, but no closure. (Both violations were repeats, however.) We've never been to that particular location, but we know a guy who ate shrimp at the Shepherd/West Alabama location a couple days after Hurricane Ike - shrimp, a couple days after Ike, at Ruchi's - and didn't get sick. That's a pretty strong endorsement. Hell, we'd let our kids eat off the bathroom floor there knowing that. Just kidding, we don't have or want kids. In other words, look out, nieces and nephews.

But wait. Over at Someburger (745 E. 11th) - or as the Health Department calls it, "Someburgers" - five violations resulted in neither a citation nor a closure. This despite the fact that two of those five violations were the exact ones Ruchi's and Droubi's were punished for. The three additional violations were floor not in good repair, ice utensil handles store improperly and, oh yeah, "Food not protected from potential contamination by dust / dirt / unclear equipment / utensils / coughs / sneezes / insects / rodents / flooding / drainage / drippage from condensation / overhead leakage / unnecessary handling / toxic materials / damaged /." We don't understand why inspectors hit different places with different punishments for the same violations, or in this case, lesser punishments for more serious violations. These foolish games aren't really tearing us apart, but they are confusing.

In happier news, the dog patio at Barnaby's (1701 S. Shepherd) had a totally clean inspection. The kitchen, on the other hand, had dirty floors, improperly adjusted equipment and food stored in "locker rooms / dressing rooms / garbage room / mechanical rooms / toilet room / vestibule / under open stairwell / other sources of contamination." (More issues with pluralization; see "Someburgers.") Speaking of sources of contamination, is it dogs or cats that have clean mouths? Seriously, we need to know this ASAP. For personal reasons.

Happy 2012.

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