Health Dept. Roundup

There's something to be said for shooting straight. Label your restaurant with the name of a country, and it takes the guesswork out of things for twitchy white people unsure whether they're ready to gamble on fare that could range from South Asian to Middle Eastern to African. Of course, meeting health codes blunts the twitchiness, too. Here's a recent Health Department Roundup of our city's obviously named eateries.

We've been wondering when we'd pull a report problematic enough to have forced a change of ownership, and that day appears to be today. After a June 29 inspection saw Spice of India (2124 Holly Hall) closed temporarily, a re-inspection on July 6 still yielded eight violations. Though the restaurant showed no violations in two subsequent change-of-ownership inspections on July 13 and 14, it's still worth sharing the previous report.

In addition to citing the eatery for operating without a food service manager's certification on hand, inspectors on July 6 also found raw or prepared food removed from its original containers and stored in uncovered containers. The restaurant's equipment was not cleaned often enough to keep it free of dust, dirt and other debris, and not designed, constructed or repaired with safe materials or kept in good condition. There were also sink problems: No hand soap or hand-drying mechanism was available at each sink, and the sinks were not available to employees at all times.

To top it off, inspectors also penciled in the Yeti violation: A food employee was not wearing an effective hair restraint or was not wearing clothing that covered his or her body hair while handling food.

Interestingly, India's Sizzler (next door at 2114 Holly Hall) also received an inspection visit July 13, but notched no apparent violations.

A few mobile units also caught inspectors' eyes.

Taqueria Mexico-Mi Jalisco (6360 Airline), in a July 6 routine inspection, was cited for its equipment not being cleaned often enough to keep it free of dust, dirt and other debris, and for its plumbing not being sized, installed or maintained properly.

In a July 13 routine visit, Taqueria Hecho en Mexico (3006 Blalock) was slapped for not keeping hand soap at each sink, and for an employee contaminating ready-to-eat food by not handling it with a proper utensil. Also (in one of those weird mobile-unit violations), the truck operator was preparing, serving, storing or displaying food on an attached device intended to increase the space available to sell, serve or store food.

Finally, at China Border, 11011 Northwest Fwy., a July 1 re-inspection found equipment not designed, constructed or repaired with safe materials or not kept in good condition, potentially hazardous food not being kept at 41 degrees or colder, and no trash can in the bathroom. Also, in two rarely seen violations, the eatery was cited for not preparing its food with the least possible manual contact, and for the flow pressure in its dishwasher not being kept between 15 and 25 pounds per square inch.

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