Mexican eatery passes county test, but multiple problems addressed in visit
A Mexican restaurant in the Cy-Fair area recently passed a food safety inspection by Harris County, but several problems needed to be corrected.
The inspection of the Balderas Tamale Factory took place on Feb. 4. County officials gave the restaurant 13 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, though inspectors can also order a follow-up at their discretion.
The demerits were given for three violations. One of these was a "cold hold" violation, meaning that food that needed to stay cool was held over 41 degrees Fahrenheit for more than four hours. According to the Harris County website, this problem is among the kinds of violations most associated with food-borne illness by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Inspectors fixed the problem on site.
County staff also said they addressed problems with the reheating of food and the labeling of potentially toxic items; neither of these violations is on the CDC list.
Multiple violations are not uncommon for Balderas. The restaurant was awarded 10 demerits in a November 2010 inspection in which 36 pounds of food needed to be destroyed. Seven demerits were given in an August 2010 visit. But the restaurant's worst score in the past year was the 17 demerits it received for five violations on May 14, 2010. In this case, inspectors ordered a follow-up that took place four days later. In that visit, Balderas received only three demerits.
For more information on how Harris County conducts restaurant inspections, visit www.hcphes.org.
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