Health officials close Iguana Joe's Restaurant in Humble

Investigators are digging deeper into what is making its patrons violently ill

By Amy Davis - Reporter/Consumer Expert

HOUSTON - A northeast Harris County restaurant is closed as investigators dig deeper into what is making its patrons violently ill.

Harris County Health inspectors began scrutinizing Iguana Joe's on West Lake Houston Parkway in Atascocita after a series of complaints. At least 20 customers say they have gotten sick after eating at the restaurant since Father's Day.

Harris County Environmental Public Health Director Michael Shaffer said it wasn't just one inspection that concerned him. Sanitarians found critical health code violations on Friday and Saturday.

"I go out on Monday and we have the same violations that allowed people to get sick. And I just can't continue to let the public be at risk," Shaffer said.

The most serious findings by health inspectors were off temperature food like sour cream and chicken.

"Which allows bacteria to grow, cause people to get sick, such as salmonella," explained Shaffer.

Iguana Joe's is definitely popular. Customers were stopping by to grab a bite to eat Tuesday to learn the place was temporarily closed.

Health Department employees will be on site Wednesday training Iguana Joe's employees in food safety and proper food handling. No word yet on when the business will reopen.

There are three Iguana Joe's locations in Harris County -- Atascocita, Crosby and Wallisville. Inspectors are checking out the other locations as well, but so far, only the West Lake Houston Parkway restaurant is temporarily closed.

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