Health Department Roundup: Ruchi's, Cedars, Le Peep and More

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There's not much to draw from in the city's health inspection records this week, and that's all right. Forcing Houston's inspectors and restaurant owners to keep dancing during the holidays would have been wrong, like mixing lean with Diet Sprite.

Of the few places that got looks last week, Ruchi's (6410 Westheimer) had the worst time. An inspector acting on a complaint issued a citation after finding 18 violations, including food employee not using suitable gloves or hand-sanitizing methods when handling ready-to-eat foods (corrected on site); food employee not wearing effective hair restraint; food stored in unclean or uncovered containers; food not protected from potential contamination; dirty floors or floor coverings; potentially hazardous foods not held at proper temperatures; ice intended for consumption used as a cooling medium (corrected); food spoiled or mislabeled; and a new one for us, "employee not maintaining a high degree of personal cleanliness/not conforming to good hygiene practices." That last one reminds us of when our mom had to have the "deodorant talk" with our 11-year-old brother. Embarrassing but probably necessary.

Here's a palate-cleanser: An inspector visited Le Peep (5750 Woodway) and didn't find any violations.

Taco's La Bala #2 (5800 Bellaire) earned five violations during an inspection last week, including dirty vent filters and covers; dirty non-food-contact surfaces (corrected); contamination of food not prevented by employee using suitable utensil to handle ready-to-eat foods (corrected); and ice machine not operated in a way that prevents contamination of ice. Cedars Bakery (8619 Richmond), which doubles as a small Lebanese restaurant, got written up for just three violations during a city visit last week. An inspector found hand-washing sink no accessible to employees at all times; food employee not using suitable gloves or hand-sanitizing methods when handling ready-to-eat foods (corrected); and poorly designed or maintained equipment.

Finally, Al Aseel (8619 Richmond) fared just a little worse than its strip-center neighbor Cedars. An inspector found five violations: no accurate thermometer in refrigerated storage facility; no test kit to measure sanitization solution; equipment components not kept tight/intact; lack of suitable dispensing utensils; and food not protected from potential contamination.

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