Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Health Department Failures

So, fellow foodies, I recently saw an article on a local news site about restaurants that fail health department inspection. I thought to myself, 'Mariah, you recommend restaurants all the time, but you hardly ever tell people which ones to avoid.' And while some people may disagree, I generally steer clear of places that fail Health Department inspection.

So whats a good Health Department score? Anything over 70 is considered passing. The Austin Health Inspector's website says:

"If more than 30 points are lost, a re-inspection is required and corrections must be made to bring the score above 70, in accordance with the Texas Food Establishment Rules. If subsequent inspections score below 70, compliance actions will be taken. Re-inspection scores are not posted here, but can be obtained by calling: 972-5600, or by emailing: echu.service@ci.austin.tx.us."

Below are a list of the food providers (restaurants, gas stations, vendors, etc) that received initial Health Inspection scores less than 70 points.

There were several establishments that I frequent on occasion and a few big surprises for me. I generally will recommend Madam Maam's (69), Elsie's (68), Sarovar (68), Jeffrey's (68), Taverna (67), Lambert's (67) and Katz's (64). While none are on my Must-Eat-Favorite's list, I've generally had good experiences at all. And while I don't recommend them, because I work in SW Austin, I will eat lunch at Thai Spice (65) and (cough) Taco Bueno (64). I was extremely surprised that such fine establishments as Jeffrey's or Lambert's could even be on this list. But alas, even the mighty must be flawed. Probably the funniest surprise on the list was Mr. Natural, which came in waaaay down at the bottom. Maybe it was a little *too* natural for the Health Inspector.