There were some big offenders this week on Health Department Roundup.
We're not from an area of the country that Jack in the Box has colonized, so we never had the "I don't care if it's rotted, I live for this crap" experience that would force us to visit one. That feeling was cemented on this week's continued systematic zip code tour of the city, starting in 77051, home to a Jack in the Box at 2709 Reed Road. There, a March 4 inspection found the eatery was operating without a food service manager's certificate. Insects also were not prevented from entering by closing holes in the walls, shutting screens or closing doors. The refrigeration unit was holding potentially hazardous food without a working or accurate thermometer.
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The restaurant also was not providing enough light in the area where food, utensils or equipment were stored, and food had been removed from its original containers and stored in unclean or uncovered containers. Nonfood-contact surfaces of equipment were not cleaned often enough to prevent them getting grimy, and, matching most residences, the microwave was not cleaned at least once a day. Also, the hand washing sink was not accessible to employees at all times.
At Ral's (1311 Afton in 77055), inspectors found no thermometers available to check the internal temperatures of potentially hazardous food. There was not at least one covered trash can available in the restroom; the wall or ceiling was not maintained in good repair; and there was no shielding, coating or shatter-resistant protection on the lighting in some areas.
One place you certainly don't want to find health violations is at a place that serves sushi, but that's what inspectors found at Korea House (10078 Long Point Road in 77055) on March 7. There, insects were not prevented from entering by closing holes in the walls, shutting screens or closing doors. Equipment, food contact surfaces and utensils were not clean to the sight and touch, and potentially hazardous foods were not being thawed as part of the traditional cooking process.
Single-use items were being reused. Food had been removed from its original containers and was being stored in unclean or uncovered containers. While being stored, prepared or displayed, raw animal foods were not separated from cooked foods to prevent cross-contamination. Some food containers were stored too close (within six inches) to the floor. The restaurant also had no written policy on how it kept time-sensitive (raw, we assume) foods safe. The floors were not kept clean in the kitchen, the wall or ceiling was not maintained in good repair, there was no vent hood over cooking equipment and, in a new violation we'd never seen before, raw egg shells were being held at an ambient temperature hotter than 45 degrees Fahrenheit.