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 standard slide.
Over the past 2 months, the Mecklenburg County Health Department has scored a total of 23 local restaurants with below “A” ratings (some of them have since fixed their issues and have increased their score with a more recent re-inspection).
Some of the most common reasons for low scores were improper cooking techniques and temperatures, food handlers not washing their hands properly, and sick workers preparing food. 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:
#10 Mi Barrio Halal Latin Grill – Scored 89 (B) on Dec. 1st
7308 E. Independence Blvd.
Four critical violations, including; raw marinated fish, chicken improperly stored above other food in walk-in cooler; dish machine not properly sanitizing; yogurt sauce on serving line, several foods in walk-in cooler holding above proper temperature; unlabeled cleaning materials; bleach-and-water bucket at wrong concentration.
#9 The Original Chicken Box – Scored 88.5 (B) on Dec. 15th
3726 N. Tryon St., Charlotte
Four critical violations, including; person in charge could not verify food safety certification; employee storing coffee cup on prep table; fried okra holding below proper temperature; baked chicken not date marked.
#8 Cafe El Buen Gusto – Scored 88 (B) on Dec. 15th
410 Westinghouse Blvd, Charlotte
Five critical violations, including; containers of food found in handsink; several food items cooling at incorrect temperature; chicken, cheese, salsa marked with wrong date, other food improperly date marked; over easy eggs, steak, fish listed on menu as cooked to order without consumer advisory for raw or under-cooked food; chlorine sanitizer found below proper level; grill cleaner stored in wrong area.
#7 Supermercado el Mariachi Restaurant – Scored 88 (B) on Dec. 22nd
6301 N. Tryon St., Charlotte
Five critical violations, including; raw chicken stored above raw beef if meat cooler; cooked menudo cooling outside of proper temperature range; thawed cooked beef not properly date marked; cooked chicharrones lacking proper date marks; degreaser bottle found unlabeled.
#6 Pho An Hoa – scored 87.5 (B) on Dec. 13th
4832 Central Ave., Charlotte
Four critical violations, including; employee improperly handling raw food; chicken stock cooling outside of proper temperature range; cabbage, sprouts holding outside of proper temperature rate; certain foods lacking date marks, kept past expiration date.
#5 Tavern on the Tracks – scored 87 (B) on Dec. 31st
1411 S. Tryon St., Charlotte
Four critical violations, including; dirty cookware stored as clean; chicken wings cooling outside of proper temperature range; lettuce, pepperoni slices, sausage holding above proper temperature in prep unit; several food items not date marked, kept past expiration date.
#4 Los Reyes Restaurant – scored 86.5 (B) on Dec. 1st
5934 South Blvd., Charlotte
Six critical violations, including; person in charge not ensuring certain food safety and handling requirements are met; employees on site unaware of health policy; front hand sink lacking paper towels; pork stew cooling outside of proper temperature range; many foods holding below proper temperature; several foods, such as salsa and lunch meat, not date marked.
#3 Pho Plus – scored 86 (B) on Dec. 28th
128 Brevard Court, Charlotte
Six critical violations, including; certified food protection manager not on site; employee failing to wash hands between handling clean and dirty dishes; raw beef stored above cooked pork in reach-in cooler; pink-and-black buildup found on ice machine and ice maker in two areas; salad mix holding above proper temperature in prep coolers; rice noodles found without temperature control; several food items lacking proper date marks.
#2 Morazan Restaurant – scored 85.5 (B) on Dec. 22nd
201 Archdale Rd., Charlotte
Five critical violations, including; certified food protection manager not on site; construction workers using kitchen door as entrance; employees improperly washing hands; raw ground beef stored above cheese in refrigerator; raw shrimp and raw shell eggs stored above ready-to-eat food in prep unit; mozzarella cheese, tamales improperly date marked.
#1 Double Tree Club Hotel – scored 85 (B) on Jan. 4th
895 West Trade St., Charlotte
Nine critical violations, including; hands clean and properly washed; no bare hand contact with RTE foods; proper cold holding temperatures; proper date markings; no required records available: shellstock tags, parasite destruction.
As of January 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 heath scores, or do a quick search for a restaurant you’re about to eat at, check out North Carolina’s health inspection database here.