Health Department Roundup: Ruchi's, Truluck's and Bald Guys Shedding in Your Food

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Chicks dig the long ball, no doubt. But would you rather have Adam Dunn's power-hitting, possibly-actually-mentally-handicapped ass striking out 200 times a year, or, say, the legendary consistency of Tony Gwynn?

When it comes to health inspections, Ruchi's is Gwynn, without a doubt. The taqueria chain regularly runs into issues with the Health Department -- even when the city doesn't issue a citation, you can count on at least half a dozen violations. This week's winner was the location at 6410 Westheimer, which an inspector hit with seven violations: food not protected from contamination; potentially hazardous food held at improper temperature; food stored in unclean or uncovered containers (corrected on site, a Flag Day miracle!); potentially hazardous/ready-to-eat food held in refrigeration not clearly marked with a disposal date; poorly designed or maintained equipment; dishwashing machine not cleaned frequently enough; and toilet room not provided with at least one covered waste receptacle.

A ways down the street, Truluck's (5350 Westheimer) did better, earning two violations: outside/storage area not kept clean, and openings to the outside not protected against the entrance of pests.

The downtown Fuddruckers (1100 Louisiana) got two violations as well: no Food Service Manager's Certification, and hand-washing sink not provided with water at 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

Deeper in the heart of downtown, Georgia's (420 Main) got three normal violations and one we can't wrap our heads around. Easy enough to understand single-service articles stored too close to the ground (read that in Willie Nelson's voice); wall/ceiling not maintained in good repair; and hand-washing sink not accessible to employees at all time.

But we're not sure why this is an issue: "Employee with partial or complete absence of scalp hair not wearing an effective hair restraint while handling food/utensils." If the problem is a lack of hair restraint, why bring up the fact that the employee doesn't have much hair? How about a violation like "employee with at least one less hand than normal not using gloves"? That seed of doubt, like maybe the city's been screwing with us the entire time.

Finally, Sylvia's Enchilada Kitchen (6401 Woodway) also earned four violations: Plumbing not sized or installed correctly; using shipping crates as storage space; wall/ceiling in poor repair (starting to sound more and more like our first apartment); and "prohibited hot food facility used for rapid reheating of potentially hazardous food."



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Location Info

Truluck's Steakhouse

5350 Westheimer, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Georgia's Market Downtown

420 Main St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Sylvia's Enchilada Kitchen

6401 Woodway Drive, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

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2 comments
etee56
etee56

OK, so I have a question: when the violation is for what appears to be a design defect (see "Plumbing not sized or installed correctly" for Sylvia's Enchilada Kitchen for an example), then why wasn't this caught during the building  permitting/inspection process?  Also, what's with all the "no Food Manager's Certificate" type of violations? Isn't this something for which the establishment can - AND SHOULD - be closed?

Blake
Blake

@etee56Restaurants can modify plumbing after inspection, I'm sure. And a lot of places do seem to get closed for certification issues, but you're right, it's not an automatic closure.

Maybe a ride-along is in order. That could be fun.

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