News from the Health Department: Brennan’s Was Clean to the Very End

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We scanned the Houston Department of Health and Human Services reports from September 13 to September 25 and found the following:

The late, great Brennan’s (formerly at 3300 Smith) was inspected on September 15 and, as usual, had no violations…

We have to admit, we were expecting dozens of violations at our next site, the Ella Shell station (3301 Pinemont), because when you’re eating at a gas station you can expect to get a little diesel in your morning coffee, but no – the Ella Shell had no violations on September 24.

Molina’s Cantina (4720 Washington) had, woo-hoo, 11 violations on September 23. In the kitchen, the inspector found potentially hazardous food not maintained at the proper temp in cold storage (repeat violation), an employee drinking from an open container “in a manner which contaminates employees hands, exposed food, clean equipment / utensils,” and a food employee not using suitable utensils / single-use gloves/hand sanitizer. There were also concerns about not having sufficiently strong enough water to flush / drain particulates from serving utensils, using dirty cloths to clean up food spill on tableware, and multiuse equipment not maintained in good repair (another repeat violation). Molina’s got cited for not protecting openings to the outside against insects and having gaps along self-closing doors.

And we haven’t seen this violation before: devices used to electrocute flying insects not properly installed/located to prevent dead insects and insect fragments from falling onto exposed food, linens or equipment. (Want a little fried fly wings in your soup?) The health inspector found equipment / utensils / plates / glasses not protected from contamination. And finally, a food employee was wearing fingernail polish/artificial fingernails or jewelry without wearing protective gloves during food preparation (we're taking bets it was a big burly dishwasher named Jose).

In the bar, ice intended for human consumption was used for cooling food stuffs and drinks (a repeat violation that was corrected on site). The inspector also saw multiuse equipment/utensils not maintained in good repair and food not protected from potential contamination by, here we go, dust / dirt / coughs / sneezes / insects / rodents / drippage from condensation / toxic materials / flooding and overhead leakage (repeat violation).

Olivia Flores Alvarez

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