Problems corrected in Tex-Mex restaurant's county food test
A local restaurant has passed a follow-up food safety inspection by the county after it was issued a citation in January, though some problems remain.
The Tex-Mex Restaurant & Bar, 13192 Veterans Memorial Drive, received the citation from Harris County food inspectors on Jan. 21. It came along with a report in which the restaurant received 19 demerits out of a possible 100. An establishment must earn 20 demerits to be automatically considered "of concern" and in need of a follow-up visit, but inspectors can also order a visit at their discretion.
In the Jan. 21 report, inspectors said they observed five violations of food safety standards, two of which were on the county website's list of problems most associated with food-borne illness by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The first of these was a "hot hold" violation. This meant that food that needs to stay about 135 degrees Fahrenheit to be safely prepared was inappropriately held under that temperature for more than four hours.
The second major violation was a failure to follow "good hygienic practices" rules, which could mean open beverage containers in the kitchen, unsafe hand-washing practices, or eating, drinking or smoking in unapproved areas.
Both the "hot hold" and "good hygienic practices" violations were corrected by the time of Tex-Mex's follow-up inspection on Feb. 10. But, the restaurant was still given seven demerits for problems with improper time marking of food and issues with mechanical washing equipment. Neither of these problems is on the CDC list.
The restaurant received scores of 11 demerits in September 2010 and seven demerits in June 2010.
For more information on how Harris County conducts restaurant inspections, visit www.hcphes.org.