Not So Bad News from the Health Department

We scanned the Houston Department of Health and Human Services reports from August 27 to September 10…

Let’s start off with the good news:

House of Blues (1204 Caroline), Havana Latin Grill and Bar (818 Travis), and Angelo’s (711 Main) were all inspected on September 9 and received no citations.

Now on to the slightly bad news:

Kroger # 243 (3300 Montrose), a.k.a. Disco Kroger, got rapped on the hand on September 8 for no cover on the trash can in the restroom, floors not being kept clean, and no shielding for artificial lighting sources.

Café Adobe (2111 Westheimer) was inspected on September 6 and health officials found nonfood-contact surfaces not being cleaned often enough to keep them free of dirt, dust and food particles and sewage / liquid waste not being disposed of properly in the upstairs bar. The downstairs bar had a plumbing problem, but the party room bar was violation free.

Alfreda’s Cafeteria (5101 Almeda) had a half-dozen violations on September 5. No soap or towels at the hand-washing sink (repeat violations), no cover on the trash can in the restroom, food contact surfaces not cleaned properly, potentially hazardous food not kept at the right temperature, and equipment / utensils not maintained in good repair (another repeat violation).

Here’s the could-be-bad-but-not-really news:

Burn’s Bar-B-Que (8307 1/2 De Priest), one of the most popular places in town for down home bar-b-que got an even dozen citations on September 4. To start off with, food was not protected from contamination by dust / dirt / drippage / drainage / leakage / rodents. Food was also not stored at the proper temperature, contamination of food by bare-hand / bare-arm contact was not prevented, and food was not stored a minimum of 6 inches off the floor. Inspectors found a failure to provide storage for employee clothing / possessions, multi-use equipment / utensils was not maintained in good repair, and equipment / utensils / glassware / plates were not protected from contamination.

Equipment was not cleaned often enough to prevent the accumulation of dust / dirt / food particles, plumbing was not maintained properly (repeat violation), window / door screens were not in good repair (repeat violation), wall / ceiling not maintained in good repair (repeat violation), and there was insufficient ventilation to keep room free from excessive heat / obnoxious odors / smoke."

Here’s the interesting part about Burn’s and its dozen violations: we don’t care. Not one single person is going to stop going to Burn’s because of any of this – the food is too good. Now, if they found that Burn’s was serving, oh, something like, say, rotting horse meat, some people would stop going there, but even then, they’d still have a pretty steady business (including this reporter).

Health code violations are serious, but when it’s Burn’s Bar-B-Que, it’s gonna take a lot more than some broken window screens or dirty plates to keep regulars away. — Olivia Flores Alvarez

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