Chicago Sun-Times
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Love That ... Hair in Your Chicken?

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There are some things that just warm the hearts of those who love food and drink, such as the mint on your pillow, the olive in your martini and the ... hair in your fried chicken? Unfortunately that last pairing is what one patron an Uptown Popeye's discovered more than a week ago.

According to a release from the Chicago Department of Health, inspectors visited the Popeye's at Broadway and Wilson on April 10 after a customer found a hair in their chicken and called 311. When inspectors got to the restaurant, they found, perhaps not too surprisingly, that none of the establishment's food handlers were wearing hair restraints, as is required. But that wasn't the worst thing they found.

In addition to the unrestrained hair, the city's inspectors found a broken walk-in cooler that, at 49-degrees Fahrenheit, was nine degrees warmer than allowed by the health code, a couple clogged sinks, a clogged toilet that overflowed when flushed, no hot water at any of the sinks and ... rat feces in the basement.

Of course, this brings to mind the classic quote from Mayor Richard M. Daley, that "you'd want to know if there's a rat in your sandwich." In this case, you'd want to know if there are rats in the basement of your Popeye's or hair in your chicken, which, as icky as their work can be, the city's health inspectors have been doing invaluable work uncovering. It's only April, and this is the 72nd time so far this year that Department of Health inspectors have shut down a food establishment because of health code violations. Anyone can search the city Department of Health's Web site to find out if a restaurant has been cited for violations (you can search by exact address or a range of address, such as the 4400 to the 4800 block of a particular street), and this Popeye's has a laundry list of violations.

As of Wednesday night, the Popeye's at Broadway and Wilson remain closed, its license suspended by the city.

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Janet Rausa Fuller

Sun-Times Food editor Janet Rausa Fuller is always thinking about her next meal.

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This page contains a single entry by James Scalzitti published on April 15, 2009 10:09 PM.

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