Charlotte’s 10 Worst Restaurant Health Scores in June

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Even though Charlotte’s restaurant selection continues to grow, so does our population, and some restaurants are taking advantage of this growing customer base by letting their health standards slide.

Some of the most common reasons for low scores were food handlers not washing their hands properly, contaminated food containers, and improper food temperatures (many restaurants are starting to use infrared thermometers to avoid this). You can see exactly what the inspectors look for on this blank copy of an inspection report.

These are the top 10 worst currently standing inspection scores in Mecklenburg County (some restaurants scored lower in June but were reinspected with higher scores before July 11th):

#10 Great Wall of China South

6666 CARMEL ROAD, CHARLOTTE NC 28226
Scored 90.5 (A) on 6/27/2018

They had the following critical violations;

  • Observed employee food stored above establishment food in reach in cooler in dry storage area.
  • Observed food employee re-contaminate hands by closing faucet with bare hands, not using barrier.
  • Observed sanitizer at sanitizer buckets with concentration less than 10ppm chlorine.
  • Observed cut cabbage above 45F.
  • Observed noodles stored on counter on arrival. Food employee quickly tried to move noodles back into walk in cooler. EHS took temperature before noodles reached walk in. Noodles observed at 57F. Employee stated noodles had been out for more than 2 hours.

#9 Blackfinn

14825 BALLANTYNE VILLAGE WAY, CHARLOTTE NC 28227
Scored 90 (A) on 6/22/2018

They had the following critical violations;

  • Observed several food employees not vigorously rub hands for 10 to 15 seconds and some turn faucet off with their bare hands after handwashing.
  • Observed shell eggs stored over cooked pasta in prep refrigerator.
  • Observed potatoe stored in container next to raw chicken in walk in unit.
  • Observed TCS food toward door of walk in unit, including dressings, lettuce and other items not holding required temperatures.
  • Observed TCS food in prep refrigerators near grill above 45 degrees F.
  • Observed no asterisk on beef for California Naked Burger on lunch menu.
  • Observed spray bottle of orange force stored over glassware at bar.

#8 Lazeez Mediterranean Grill

9311 JW CLAY BLVD, CHARLOTTE NC 28262
Scored 88 (B) on 6/12/2018

They had the following critical violations;

  • Observed handsinks without hand towels and hand soap.
  • Observed raw meats stored over RTE foods and vegetables in walk-in cooler.
  • Observed dish machine operating below 180F final rinse for hot water sanitizing. Thermolabel failed 2x.
  • Observed build-up on slicer.
  • Observed build-up inside ice machine.
  • Observed TCS foods stored in flip-top prep cooler on cook line > 45F.
  • Observed multiple TCS ready-to-eat foods stored in walk-in cooler without date mark.

#7 Clove Indian Cuisine

230 EAST WT HARRIS BLVD, CHARLOTTE NC 28262
Scored 87.5 (B) on 6/11/2018

They had the following critical violations;

  • Observed handsinks without hand soap or hand towels.
  • Observed bag of garden soil stored in handsink.
  • Observed multiple containers of RTE foods in walk-in cooler without cover.
  • Observed food debris build-up on equipment throughout kitchen including can opener blade, microwave ovens, knives stored as clean on wall magnet, tomato slicer, mixer.
  • Observed stickers and sticker glue on containers stored as clean on the drying rack.
  • Observed cheese and goat meat stored in flip top prep cooler > 45F.
  • Observed tandoori chicken stored off of temperature control > 45F.
  • Observed multiple containers of RTE foods stored in walk-in cooler without date marks.
  • Observed unlabeled spray bottles containing chemical cleaners.

#6 New Century Oriental Deli

401 N TRYON ST, CHARLOTTE NC 28202
Scored 87.5 (B) on 6/21/2018

They had the following critical violations;

  • Observed an employee touch ready to eat food with bare hands.
  • Observed no soap at the hand sink by the smokers.
  • Observed wiping cloths stored on the hand sink.
  • Observed raw shell eggs above dessert in a reach in cooler.
  • Observed raw shell eggs above cooked sausage in another reach in cooler.
  • Observed an employee touch ready to eat food with bare hands; the employee was instructed to discard the food. The employee hid the food on a shelf under a prep table instead of discarding the food.
  • Observed cooked pork, pork stomach and hard boiled eggs without dates in the reach in and walk in cooler.

#5 Carolina Ale House

201 S COLLEGE ST, CHARLOTTE NC 28244
Scored 87 (B) on 6/28/2018

They had the following critical violations;

  • Observed employee drink without lid being stored in prep cooler.
  • Observed items stored on hand sink at bar including knife that prevented access from hand washing in sink.
  • Observed dish scrubbers being stored in the dish machine hand sink.
  • Observed multiple containers in walk-in cooler that had been made earlier this week without lids.
  • Observed dishes being stored as clean with food debris left on them including a dish with baked cheese left on it.
  • Observed dishes being stored as clean with stickers left on them.
  • Observed chopper for tomatoes air drying after being cleaned with tomatoes and debris left in the cracks and crevices.
  • Observed ice machine chute with heavy build-up in need of cleaning.
  • Observed ice machine walls with build-up.
  • Observed ice well at servers station with build-up in the corners.
  • Observed line cook to take chicken off of grill for an order. Chicken temperature was less than 165F. Cook did know proper temperature.
  • Observed coolers holding food above 45F throughout including raw chicken in chicken prep cooler, pico, tomatoes, corn and black beans, tomato sauce, mac and cheese sauce, cheeses, wings, spinach and artichoke dip in prep cooler #2, sliced ham, corned beef, roast beef, turkey, shrimp, and cheeses in cooler drawers, corn and black beans, pico, cheeses, tomatoes, dressings, and coleslaw in prep cooler #4, and milk in reach-in cooler. Milk in reach-in cooler was at the bottom, fan is at the top and cannot reach milk with sheet trays blocking air. Ranch at top was at 41F.
  • Observed half and half in walk-in, milk in reach-in cooler, and pasta in cooler drawer without date labels.
  • Observed garlic parmesan wing sauce on TPHC with proper procedures in place without time stamp on product.
  • Observed spray bottle at down stairs bar and upstairs bar without labeling.

#4 Light Rail Family Restaurant 

8045 SOUTH BLVD, CHARLOTTE NC 28273
Scored 85 (B) on 6/15/2018

They had the following critical violations;

  • Observed improper date marking.
  • Observed improper cold holding.
  • Observed improper handwashing.
  • Observed food employee re-contaminate hands by closing faucet and paper towel dispenser with hands not using a barrier.
  • Observed food employee handle ready to eat food(sandwich) with bare hands.
  • Observed raw burgers, and raw sausage stored above ready to eat foods such as opened canned peaches, and salad in under counter cooler and reach in cooler respectively.
  • Observed foods in walk in cooler holding temperature above 45F(see chart).
  • Observed items in reach in coolers holding temp above 45F(see chart).
  • Observed food in walk in holding temp above 45F.
  • Observed foods such as deli meats without date mark at reach in cooler.
  • Observed several items such as mac casserole, spinach, lettuce and coleslaw with wrong date marks.

#3 Thai Taste

324 EAST BLVD., CHARLOTTE NC 28208
Scored 81 (B) on 6/12/2018

They had the following critical violations;

  • Observed no control over handwashing, glove use, cooling methods and maintaining cold temperatures.
  • Observed several items such as hats, drinks, and other personal items being stored directly over service bowls and RTE foods for the facility.
  • Observed food employee prepping raw eggs and using same gloved hands to touch ready to eat foods and utensils. Also observed food employees enter kitchen from outside and engage in food prep without washing hands or donning gloves.
  • Observed waitstaff come inside to scoop out rice and ice without washing hands.
  • Observed waitstaff grab leaf lettuce from reach in and use for plating without using gloves or a barrier.
  • Observed water pictures being stored inside of hand washing sink.
  • Observed raw eggs being stored over cooked chicken in the 2 door reach in unit.
  • Observed homemade curry sauce that is used in multiple dishes at 74-76 degrees after 2 hours.
  • Tofu and cut cabbage located in the prep unit across from the grill was cold holding above 45 degrees.
  • Tofu, cut cabbage, raw eggs and bean sprouts were stored in the walk in cooler above 45 degrees.

#2 Flamin Kitchen

2130 EAST ARBORS DR, CHARLOTTE NC 28262
Scored 75.5 (C) on 6/28/2018

They had the following critical violations;

  • Observed no managerial control over cold holding, cooling, and storage orders.
  • Observed employees handle raw food and go to handling RTE food without handwashing.
  • Observed front handsink that has water too hot for adequate handwashing and no employees are using sink and observed plastic containers stored in sink.
  • Observed bag of mussels that did not have tag attached to bag.
  • Observed raw chicken, raw beef, and cooked chicken in the same container; raw beef at same sink where cooked tripe is cooling, stored lettuce on cutting board that was used to cut raw chicken.
  • Observed gloves used continously to handle raw animal food then handle RTE food and use to touch phone and continue food prep.
  • Observed bowls and plates on line that was soiled with food debris.
  • Observed prep sink that was used to handle raw animal food not santized before placing cooked food on surface.
  • Observed wings in facility that was not fully cooked to be reheated for service.
  • Observed shredded lettuce from 10am that was at 81F at 2pm.
  • Observed beef broth and beef soup only cool 8 degrees in and hour and 15.
  • Observed facility store raw eggs and cool shredded and leaf lettuce in a walk in they knew was not in working order.
  • Observed items in prep top that was held above chill line and on counter with no form of temperature control.
  • Observed fried tofu, potatoes, corn, cooked chicken, sausage, peanut sauce, shrimp, pre-cooked shrimp, egg roll, and fishcake items not dated.
  • Observed pork, shrimp, lobster meat, fish balls, quail eggs, cooked squid, that was dated when placed in prep top and not when originally prepared.
  • Observed facility hold noodles out on time with no time stamp and no written procedures.
  • Observed no consumer advisory for bahn mi sandwiches that uses raw eggs in mayonnaise.
  • Observed bottle of container labeled degreaser with unidentified liquid.

#1 Pho Plus

128 BREVARD CT, CHARLOTTE NC 28202
Scored 73 (C) on 6/20/2018

They had the following critical violations;

  • Observed lack of managerial control throughout facility. Overall cold holding, cooling, hot holding, TPHC, equipment monitoring, and several other issues that are directly linked to controlling food borne illness are not being controlled.
  • Observed employees are not able to name illnesses, but one employee could name some symptoms to not come to work with.
  • Observed uncovered employee drinks throughout facility stored on prep surfaces and carts with open food.
  • Observed several employees wash hands for less than 15 seconds.
  • Observed one employee not use soap to wash hands. CDI: Employees corrected and rewashed hands.
  • Observed employee pick soap container off of ground, and don new gloves and handle food with no handwashing.
  • Observed bucket of water being filled up at handsink in street level kitchen, upon arrival.
  • Observed heavy amount of food debris in handsink at bubble tea prep area. Employee at bubble tea area said they rinse utensils in the handsink.
  • Observed knife in handsink in basement kitchen.
  • Observed basement kitchen handsink blocked with table.
  • Observed raw shrimp stored over cooked chicken in reach in freezer. Items were not frozen and were not in commercially sealed packages.
  • Observed containers and utensils stored as clean with food debris and grease build up.
  • Observed bucket of noodles cooling in reach in in 5 gallon bucket cooling at rate of 0F/min.
  • Observed rice in warmer holding below 135F. Warmer was unplugged.
  • Observed prep cooler in street level kitchen holding food items above 45F.
  • Observed no procedures written for vegetable and shrimp rolls that are held at room temperature during lunch. Observed no time marking on rolls either.
  • Observed no consumer advisory for “rare beef” on menu.
  • Observed bucket labeled sanitizer at bubble tea handwashing sink. No chlorine or quat sanitizer present in bucket per test strips.

As of July 11th, the above scores have not changed, but they can be increased (or decreased) at any time, as soon as they have a re-inspection.

If you’d like to monitor health scores, or do a quick search for a restaurant you’re about to eat at, check out North Carolina’s health inspection database here.

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