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Texas BBQ: How Do Restaurants Do On Health Inspections?

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CBS DFW (con't)

Affordable Care Act Updates: CBSDFW.com/ACA

Health News & Information: CBSDFW.com/Health

FORT WORTH (CBS 11 NEWS) – What is it about barbecue that so many of us find irresistible?

Sussana Rusell says,  “You just want to lick your fingers.”

For Tracy Land, it’s “Everything, it’s just a Texas tradition.”

Bridgett Frost says “Love it all, the brisket is good. All the sides.”

While we all have our favorites, and favorite places to eat it — there’s more to it than just how the ribs and brisket, and sides all taste.

Cities say they inspect barbecue and other restaurants several times a year. They say with all of the food preparation and handling, they do their best to prevent food borne illnesses.

Elmer DePaula with the City of Fort Worth says, “The meat is going through what we call the danger zone of temperatures, and if the process is not done properly, then eventually, someone could get sick.”

CBS 11 dug through records and noticed a report concerning Rudy’s Barbecue along I-35E in Denton.

When the restaurant catered a breakfast for a local business in April, city of Denton documents say “160 people who ate the food became ill” after eating breakfast tacos similar to these and eggs and potatoes.

The city says while some employees went home sick, there was no evidence to confirm the food caused an illness.

Then, this past May, the same Rudy’s failed its health inspection — receiving a grade of 66.

The inspector wrote “Everything in this kitchen needs cleaning”, and “employees at the front line handling food and touching everything else with their gloves on and not washing hands once to change dirty gloves.”

The inspector “had the manager throw out food” that wasn’t hot or cold enough as required, something the inspector says has been “marked in the past, and it needs to be corrected right away.”

Documents also show lots of flies by the drive-through window.

Rudy’s passed a re-inspection nearly two weeks later.

Rudy’s Barbecue in Frisco, scored well this year.

Last year, it failed its inspection, but did pass during a follow-up.

Rudy’s issued a statement saying, “Rudy’s Bar-B-Q takes the cleanliness and sanitation of our restaurants very seriously, and it is a great source of pride for us. As advisers and partners in our efforts, we work closely with the Health Department to ensure that we maintain the highest standards of quality and cleanliness. If there are any issues as a result from a health inspection, they are addressed and corrected during the visit.”

While Rudy’s had some work to do, most barbecue restaurants we checked scored well on their health inspections.

Ernestine Edmond owns Mama E’s.

She says, “I don’t want anyone to be sick. I don’t want to be sick.”

It’s a small BBQ place in Fort Worth, but don’t let it’s humble appearance fool you.

Records show that it’s always done well on its inspections.

During this inspection, Mama E’s restaurant received only 13 demerits — a good score.

30 demerits is considered a failing grade in Fort Worth, and that triggers a re-inspection.

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