Not So Great News from the Health Department, Downtown Edition

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We take a look at downtown restaurants today. Let’s start off with the biggest offender first.

Popeye’s (1116 Travis) was inspected on Oct. 15 and they had a whopping 13 violations – way to go Popeye’s! • Food was found that was not safe for human consumption • Potentially hazardous food was not being held at the proper temperature • Employee was not wearing clothing that covered body hair while handling food • Equipment was not in good repair • Nonfood-contact surfaces were not cleaned often enough • Moist cloths were used for cleaning nonfood- contact surfaces • The person in charge did not have a Food Service Manager’s Certification • There was inadequate lighting in work areas • Lighting equipment did not have shielding/protection in food/equipment areas • Floors were not constructed of durable materials • Wall / Ceiling was not maintained in good repair • There was insufficient ventilation to keep the room free from odor / heat / smoke / fumes • Equipment was not maintained in accordance with manufacturer’s specification

Benihana of Tokyo (1318 Louisiana) was inspected on October 8 and while the sushi bar didn’t have any violations, the kitchen had a few. • The walls / ceilings were not kept clean • Floors were not kept clean • Ice making machine was not operated / maintained to prevent contamination • Nonfood-contact surfaces not cleaned often enough • A food employee was not wearing effective hair restraint • Running water used to rinse utensils was not sufficient to flush/drain particulates

The Benihana Bar only had one violation: • The water used to wash utensils was not hot enough

Hub Cap Grill (1111 Prairie) got a hand-slap on Oct. 15 by inspectors who found: • No Smoking signs were not clearly posted • Employees were handling ready-to-eat food without using utensils / gloves • Potentially hazardous food was being thawed in water • Food was not protected from cross-contamination

At Azuma Sushi Robata (909 Texas) inspectors found • food being stored in contact with water • ice intended for human consumption was being used for cooling • Nonfood-contact surfaces were not cleaned often enough

Two other downtown restaurants had pre-opening inspections, Angelo’s Houston (711 Main) and McCormick & Schmick’s (1201 Fannin). Both were found to have walls / ceilings that were not in good repair.

Check back next week when we reveal the top ten inspection code violators in the city. — Olivia Flores Alvarez

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