Health Department Roundup

Health Dept. Roundup

Debris, dirty utensils, broken thermometers, contaminated sinks, broken plumbing, dusty vents. Someday a real rain will come and wash all the health code violators off the streets. Until then, check out these excerpts from the city's inspection reports.

Taqueria Alma Latina on 2203 N. Shepherd didn't fare so well in its routine inspection last week, racking up ten violations in the restaurant and two in the bar. Vents and fans were not kept clean; food was not kept at proper temperatures (corrected immediately on site, we assume forever and ever); and contamination possibilities existed thanks to employees using improper utensils to handle ready-to-eat food. Inspectors also noted that warhorse of a violation, the one a certain flamboyant local TV personality translated into a timeless catchphrase: "_____ in the ___ machine!" If you guessed "soda in the soda machine," you are probably too high to be reading even a food blog. Don't go outside, either. Everyone will know.

Med students are aware of germs' effect on the body. Which probably makes it harder for them to hear that Luby's in the Baylor College of Medicine (1200 Moursund) was hit Jan. 20 with a number of bad violations. In the kitchen, food and utensils were stored under "exposed sewer/potable water lines." (Apparently, the health department doesn't distinguish between sewer water and drinking water.) Food was stored improperly and no expiration dates were noted on open containers. In the food court, there were "poisonous/toxic" materials present that weren't necessary for sanitation or maintenance. In the catering area, utensils and glassware were not handled properly to prevent contamination. On the bright side, med students, this Luby's is still open. And you'll probably make a lot of money one day. If a contaminated Lu Ann Platter doesn't kill you.

And how great is this - the kitchen at the City of Houston Jail at 61 Reisner was written up for employees having poorly groomed facial hair; a lack of thermometers to measure the temperature of freshly washed dishes; and using milk or produce crates as shelving. Maybe patrons of this particular eatery should take their business elsewhere.

Lame-ass violation of the week: New place Trattoria Il Mulino (945 Gessner) started things off well, for the most part, with a clean pre-opening inspection. That's except for one grievous violation: unsmooth walls, somewhere in the restaurant. (The report isn't specific.) Frankly, if we were the inspector on duty, we'd evacuate the building and call in the health department Black Hawks to work over the trattoria until the entire corrupted facility is a pile of heat-sanitized rubble. Health from above.

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Blake Whitaker
Contact: Blake Whitaker