Health Department Roundup

Health Department Roundup: Nidda and Friends

You know what'd be interesting? Seeing a Health Department inspection of Minute Maid Park. We worked there a few years back, so nothing the city might turn up would surprise us at all (except maybe Carlos Beltran's personality, or Drayton's buried treasure). I guess when your average nightly attendance is six -- or 20,006 when the Cubs are in town, but who cares about the health and safety of those fans -- you're not a huge priority. Just putting that out there, though, in case any inspectors are reading.

On to the establishments that the health department dropped in on last week.

Mila's Taqueria Mexico (3240 Fondren) -- sounds like this may be a Mexican restaurant -- earned six violations and a citation. Issues included food stored in unclean or uncovered containers; potentially hazardous food held for more than 24 hours without a noted disposition time/date; hand-washing sink not accessible to all employees; openings to the outside not blocked to prevent the entrance of pests; no no-smoking sign posted; and no properly certified manager on duty.

After a complaint, inspectors also cited Handi Plus (2350 Pease) -- sounds like this may be the butt of a bunch of potential "massage parlor" jokes, all of which we refuse to make -- for seven violations. Those included effective pest-control measures not in place; ice machine not set up in a way that prevents contamination; refuse containers either leaking, not insect-proof or poorly maintained; wall/ceiling not maintained in good repair; and no properly certified manager on duty.

Nidda Thai (1226 Westheimer) got written up for six violations, but did not receive a citation. Inspectors wrote them up for bulk food improperly stored; eggs held at improper temperature (corrected on site); drying devices missing at some hand-washing sinks; food-contact surfaces/utensils not cleaned often enough (corrected on site); no covered waste receptacle in toilet room (FUN FACT FOR BACHELORS: If you have a girlfriend or regularly entertain female guests, you should also have a covered waste receptacle in your bathroom, and you shouldn't have to ask why); and equipment/utensils not properly designed or maintained.

Brazilian pizza and burger place Friends Pizzeria (7952 Westheimer) earned five violations during a recent inspection, including one we've never seen before. The first four: Using shipping containers/milk crates as shelves; no test kit to measure concentration of cleaning solution; no shielding over artificial lighting; and effective pest-control measures not taken. The fifth element: "Toilet facilities/vestibules used by pre-school age children not kept clean/in good repair/free of objectionable odors." Aren't all toilet facilities potentially used by pre-schoolers? Or has Friends set up a pre-school-only bathroom? Where's Robert Stack when you need him?

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Blake Whitaker
Contact: Blake Whitaker