Health Department Roundup: Medical Center Edition

New contributor E. Ting likes eating, but for professional reasons prefers to remain anonymous.

Yes, public health violations happen at hospitals, too. Here's the rundown for this month:

St. Joseph Medical Center (1919 LaBranch), "conveniently located on the edge of Houston's revitalized downtown," has yet to revitalize its meal preparation, apparently, racking up myriad violations in 23 separate health department reports. Several violations address kitchen and dining utensils "not handled properly to protect from contamination," which could entail many misadventures with plates, glasses and cutlery I'd rather not consider. Food workers are drinking from beverage containers in such a manner as to contaminate hands, food, utensils and single-service items. We're sure it gets hot in the kitchen, but workers are supposed to save hydration for breaks when away from food items. Also, St. Joseph's staff often did not date food removed from its original packaging, something we all know grandmas do so that we'll know which frozen stews and gumbos we can safely consume upon arriving in town for their funerals.

Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital (11800 Astoria), part of the massive Memorial Hospital system, challenged St. Joseph with 16 reports of health code violations thus far in the month of June. Memorial Hermann Southeast was cited for dust accumulation, absence of food service documentation, poorly maintained ice machines, inadequate measures to minimize pests, and a poorly maintained water fountain.

Women's Hospital of Texas (7600 Fannin) has dirty floors, the food-dating problem, and utensils not designed for food preparation. St. Dominic's Nursing Home (6502 Grand Blvd.), where old nuns go to escape the vendetta-settling wrath of former pupils, has dirty irremovable vent covers the poor sisters probably can't reach and surely cannot see. The University General Hospital (7501 Fannin) needs to better guard against contamination of its ice and to avoid misleading and unlawful food labeling. And Parkway Place (1321 Park Bayou) stands accused of "crusted grease deposits and accumulated soil" on its cooktops, meaning the hospital is preparing this week's scrambled eggs on top of last week's burger residue.

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