Health Dept. Roundup: 77036 to 77050

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We covered a little more ground on Health Department Round-up this week, marching from zip code 77036 all the way up to 77050 in our ongoing campaign to tour the best and worst of Houston's kitchens.

A March 2 change-of-ownership inspection at Houston Sabri Nihari (5901 Hillcroft in 77036) brought the longest list of citations we've seen yet. First, inspectors found the plumbing was not sized, installed or maintained properly and that the walls or ceilings were not maintained in good repair. There were two insect-related violations: one for failing to keep bugs out by filling gaps along the floors or walls or by installing tight-fitting or self-closing doors; the other for not using measures intended to minimize rodents, flies and cockroaches. Also, there was no shielding, coating or shatter-resistant protection on the lighting in several areas of the kitchen. Equipment components were not kept intact or not adjusted in accordance with the manufacturer's specifications; equipment or utensils were not clean to sight and touch, and also were not stored in sanitary conditions. Finally, the floors or floor coverings were not made of smooth or durable materials (and were not kept clean) in the food prep, food storage or utensil-washing areas, walk-in fridge, or dressing, locker or toilet rooms.

Ning's Chinese Cuisine (9348 Bellaire Blvd. in 77036) was dinged in a February 26 routine inspection for not protecting against the entry of insects by keeping doors and windows shut or by not installing screens for the same purpose. Also, the nonfood-contact surfaces of the eatery's equipment were not cleaned as often as necessary to keep them free of dust, dirt, food particles or other debris.

A February 25 routine inspection at El Palenque Mexican Restaurant (10803 Westheimer Road in 77042) found potentially hazardous food in hot storage not being held at 135 degrees Fahrenheit. On the other end of the spectrum, food also was being stored in contact with water or un-drained ice. Also, the plumbing was not sized, installed or maintained properly, and there was no shielding, coating or shatter-resistant protection on the lights in several areas of the kitchen. In the bar area, equipment, utensils, glassware or plates were not handled properly to protect them from contamination. The units for handling waste and recyclables had no drain plug in place, and the signs reminding employees to wash their hands were not visible at all sinks.

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