Houston Health Department Roundup: A Ceviche Movie Theater Citation and a Bad Day at Trucker's Paradise

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There are some ideas that, no matter how good they sound initially, maybe don't turn out so well. Face tattoos. Juice cleanses. Raw seafood from a movie theater.

Fortunately, though many people have gone through with their ill-advised plans to tattoo tribal prints across their foreheads, a heroic health inspector saved hundreds (if not thousands) from suffering at the hands of Studio Movie Grill's (805 Town and Country Lane) ceviche lettuce wrap.

Actually, that may not be accurate. I can neither confirm nor deny that people continue to order raw seafood from a movie concession stand, but I can tell you that thanks to the health inspector, said seafood might not be as unfortunate as it once was. After the Department of Health received a complaint, Studio Movie Grill was slapped with a citation for an employee neglecting to use "suitable utensils" or "chemical hand sanitizing solution." The inspector also caught an employee consuming food in an "unapproved area." Trying to be all rebellious only to get whipped by the health inspector.

Ninfa's on McKinney also had some issues, but none big enough to warrant a citation. Some food didn't have an internal temperature of 41 degrees or below or 135 degrees or above while being stored and a wood product was used for shelving in the cold storage unit! My mind is hard at work running through all the options for what that wood product could be. Legal pads? Toilet paper? Walking sticks? Carvings of birds? The possibilities are endless. Ninfas was also in violation due to insufficient ventilation, spoiled food and an employee not wearing an effective hair restraint.

Trucker's Paradise (9221 Wallisville Road) was issued 16 violations after a re-inspection, and though it didn't get a citation, it was forced to close temporarily to fix things such as food not safe for human consumption, food not protected from contamination, presence of rodents or insects and general disrepair. No news on when the truck stop is set to reopen.

Pizza Hut at 415 W. Little York Road got six violations that resulted in a citation, but remains open. Issues included a food employee not wearing a proper hair restraint, improperly handled utensils, not enough lighting, a refrigerator without a proper thermometer, crappy refuse containers, no kit to measure the strength of the sanitizing solution and finally, the kicker, a manager without a Food Service Manager's Certification in his/her possession.

Café Red Onion (12440 Northwest Freeway) had a routine inspection that turned up just one violation: equipment that was in disrepair or unsanitary. Inspections at the Four Seasons' (1300 Lamar Street) kitchen and at Sam's Grocery (15743 Lee Road) turned up no violations at all.

La Dolce Vita Cafe (500 Westheimer Road) also had a perfect inspection, so I know where I'll be eating tonight. Bravo, La Dolce Vita, bravo.

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