Health Department Roundup: Taco Keto, Burns Bar-B-Q, Woodrow's and More

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Very disappointing news, on its surface -- Taco Keto (1401 Cullen), maybe the consensus pick for best food truck in Houston, got a visit from a health inspector last week and ended up with a citation and a temporary closure order. A closer look shows that Keto's violations were more about non-sanitary policy violations than any actual dirt. Three of the seven violations were for serving/storing/displaying food on an attached device or equipment - just like providing seating for customers, this is forbidden for mobile units. One violation was a general Article II transgression.

The remaining three weren't great - no hand-washing soap at all sinks, no garbage facility for customers provided and no valid service records available for mobile unit - but it's doubtful they'd deter anyone from visiting the truck. Least of all, us. We stopped by at lunch yesterday. There wasn't much of a line at 1 p.m., but Taco Keto was definitely open again, free side of papas and everything. We didn't see any attached devices, so maybe they've made changes, or maybe we just don't have an inspector's eye.

At Arcodoro (5000 Westheimer), an inspector found a sink/soap dispenser in poor repair, towels not located near each hand-washing sink and hand-washing sign not posted near each sink. But it was likely their lack of a Food Service Manager's Certification that lead to a citation.

Woodrow's (3111 Chimney Rock) had a worse time, but escaped a ticket. Their issues included potentially hazardous food in cold storage not maintained at proper temperatures; poorly designed or maintained equipment; shellstock not stored properly, or lacking proper tags; outdoor refuse containers not kept in good repair; food stored in unclean or uncovered containers (corrected on site); food being reheated improperly (corrected); and no test kit to measure the strength of sanitization solution.

Hollister Grill (1741 Hollister) earned seven violations, including no Food Dealer's Permit, but still escaped a ticket. Their other issues included dirty vent filters; no tight-fitting doors on the bathroom; hand-washing sink not accessible to employees at all times; food stored too close to the ground, where low-flying angles can easily swipe it; and dirty wall/ceiling.

Burns Bar-B-Q (6314 Antoine) also got hit with eight violations but escaped citation. An inspector visited last week and found missing soap at a hand-washing sink; plumbing not sized/maintained/installed properly; dishwashing machine not cleaned often enough; effective pest-control measures not taken; dirty wall/ceiling; no Food Service Manager's Certification (corrected on site, somehow); and not enough light in working area.

Finally, Tippy's (4400 Yale) earned eight violations but no ticket. Issues included wall/ceiling in poor repair; equipment/utensils not in use stored in unsanitary way or not removed from premises; single-service articles used more than once; dirty non-food-contact surfaces; spoiled or mislabeled food; and food not cooled properly (corrected on site).

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