10 Worst Charlotte Restaurant Health Scores in November


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 November but were reinspected with higher scores before November 30th):

#10 Suffolk Punch

Scored 91 (A) on 11/6/2018

They had the following critical violations;

  • Observed two employees washing hands for less than 15 seconds and using their bare hands to turn off faucet.
  • Observed three small cast iron skillets, two pairs of tongs, and a metal pan with food residue on them while stored as clean.
  • Observed far left low boy unit nonfunctional during inspection, causing multiple foods to hold above 45F.
  • Observed house made ranch with a date of 10/29, as well as cous cous , hummus, and tomato puree with no dates.

#9 Zada Janes

Scored 90.5 (A) on 11/9/2018

They had the following critical violations;

  • Observed employee wash hands without using soap or paper towel.
  • Observed employee handle dirty dishes and then go back to clean dishes without proper handwash between processes.
  • Observed employee wash hands in three compartment sink.
  • Observed sanitizer dispenser at three compartment sink dispensing at 0 ppm QAC sanitizer.
  • Observed black eye pea salad and hummus held greater than 7 days.

#8 Great Wok

Scored 90 (A) on 11/16/2018

They had the following critical violations;

  • Observed one employee recontaminate hands by not using a papertowel to pump the paper towel roll.
  • Observed egg rolls with raw chicken (per original box) stored over raw beef in walk in.
  • Observed egg rolls with raw chicken (per original box) stored over egg noodles in walk in cooler.
  • Observed cooked chicken cooling at a rate of .1F/min in first cooling parameter.
  • Observed curry sauce cooling at a rate of .025F/min.
  • Observed tapioca pearls on counter under no temperature control.
  • Observed time of 10:05am marked on chicken and tofu in prep top cooler. Items are held on TPHC and were not discarded at 2:05pm, as required.
  • Observed soups on time on bottom shelf. PIC stated he then moves the soup to the warmer and keeps them hot.
  • Observed first aid supplies including burn cream, salves, and medicines stored above canned goods and above open plastic wrap and open foil.

#7 Morton’s Steakhouse

Scored 90 (A) on 11/27/2018

They had the following critical violations;

  • Observed employee drink stored on dry storage rack above open box of coconut.
  • Observed servers don gloves and handle garnishes for dishes with no handwash.
  • Observed ice in bar handsink.
  • Observed salmon letter from inland seafood, but Person in Charge (PIC) stated that salmon now comes from sysco.
  • Observed unwashed produce over ready to eat caesar dressing in walk in.
  • Observed onion soup cooling at a rate of 0F/min.
  • Observed taco meat pulled from frozen with no pull date.
  • Observed container of feta with an open date of 11/12.
  • Observed no time stamp on butter, clarified butter, steaks, or grilled lemons.

#6 Essex Bar and Bistro 

Scored 90 (A) on 11/20/2018

They had the following critical violations;

  • Observed PIC wash hands for less than 15 seconds after contacting raw fish and then turn faucet off with bare hands.
  • Observed PIC touch raw turkey with gloved hands and then proceed to open doors of coolers without glove removal or hand wash.
  • Observed employee use gloved hands to obtain pre-portioned bag of raw fish to place into bowl to batter and then fry.
  • Observed shellstock tags to not be labeled with last date of sale.
  • Observed several items without date labels throughout kitchen including cooked lobster, several open containers of heavy cream from last night, and cut ham chub.
  • Observed cut cabbage with date of 11/10.
  • Observed roasted red pepper sauce with date of 11/13.
  • Observed brussel sprouts on TPHC that had not been cooled to 41F or below before being placed on TPHC.

#5 Suki Hana of Northlake

Scored 84 (B) on 11/29/2018

They had the following critical violations;

  • Observed multiple employees enter the facility from the exterior and neglect to wash their hands.
  • Observed employees washing their hands in the three compartment sink due to the handsinks having been rendered inaccessible due to the lack of cold water, and handsink dispensing 140F or higher water.
  • Observed cold water access turned off to both facility handsinks. Water temperature of the handsinks was observed to be above 140F.
  • Observed employee cooling a large batch of noodles in a prep sink with noodles in contact with the drain of the sink, an area that is not able to be properly cleaned/sanitized.
  • Observed cooked chicken cooling in the walk in cooler in a large, deep pan. Product was observed to be 40-45F on the sides, with interior pieces ranging from 50-61F. Employees gave multiple times for the start of cooling, ranging from unknown, 10am, and 11am.
  • Observed a heavily overstacked pan of cooked chicken product in the steam display. Portions of the product that were below the cut off area of the pan were observed to be 145-160F.
  • Observed an overstacked pan of noodles in the fryer area flip top cooler. Items were observed to be between 50-55F.

#4 Morazan Restaurant

Scored 82.5 (B) on 11/6/2018

They had the following critical violations;

  • Several employees observed returning back into the kitchen from back door without washing hands and returning back to workstation.
  • Dish hand sink observed blocked by cart.
  • Some food observed uncovered inside walk-in cooler and some dry goods uncovered at outside dry storage building.
  • Observed build-up on interior of ice machine on and around chute area.
  • Observed a container of beans that were cooled from last night at 51F in center inside walk-in cooler.
  • Observed a pan of chorizo holding under heat lamp at 113F-126F.
  • Observed inside small flip top cooler on main cook line raw shrimp, shell eggs, shrimp wrapped in bacon, crab, and fish ranging from 52F – 68F.
  • Observed items inside grill cooler including chicken, tilapia, and raw shrimp ranging from borderline 45F – 49F.

#3 Trade Restaurant and Bar

Scored 82 (B) on 11/30/2018

They had the following critical violations;

  • Through discussion and observation, there is an overall lack of control of procedures and processes throughout the kitchen as evidenced by temperature violations, date-marking violations, handwashing issues, lack of knowledge of when foods were prepared.
  • Observed employee wash hands for less than 15 seconds and then use bare hands to turn off faucet.
  • Observed employee wash hands in prep sink on hot line.
  • Observed employee don gloves with no handwash in prep area.
  • Observed handwashing sink for buffet line with heavy tea and coffee staining.
  • Observed raw salmon in walk-in cooler stored over ready to eat foods.
  • Observed raw salmon and raw bacon stored over ready to eat foods in banquet walk-in cooler.
  • Observed raw shrimp and raw steak stored over ready to eat foods in reach-in coolers.
  • Observed parcooked (raw) tuna stored over ready to eat food in walk in.
  • Observed frozen raw products out of hermetically sealed packages stored over frozen ready to eat products in walk-in freezer.
  • Observed tomato slicer and can opener blade with food debris on it.
  • Observed cut melons cooling in walk in at a rate of 0F/min.
  • Observed omelet toppings held on ice above 45F.
  • Observed raw shell eggs held at omelet station above 45F.
  • Observed cooked mushrooms dated 11/21 and cooked sweet potatoes dated 11/21 in cooler drawer.
  • Observed ricotta dated 11/14 and cooked shrimp dated 11/23 in reach in cooler.
  • Observed cooked penne dated 11/26 but held above 41F in reach in cooler.

#2 Pudina 

Scored 74.5 (C) on 11/21/2018

They had the following critical violations;

  • Observed overall lack of control throughout kitchen as evidenced by time as a public health control (TPHC) issues, handwashing issues, glove issues, cold holding issues, and overall cleanliness of the facility.
  • Observed employee drink with no lid and no straw stored on cart comingled and over top of single service items and customer plates.
  • Observed employee wash hands and use bare hands to turn off water after handwash.
  • Observed employees don gloves without washing hands.
  • Observed raw beef stored over cooked beef in reach in cooler.
  • Observed container of salt stored uncovered in dry storage area.
  • Observed raw proteins, out of commercial packaging, stored over ready to eat foods in reach in freezer.
  • Observed food debris on slicer that employee stated had not been used today. Ensure slicer is washed, rinsed, and sanitized at least every 4 hours when used.
  • Observed fried tofu cooling at a rate of .08F/min in first cooling zone.
  • Observed several bags rice noodles labeled “perishable. Keep refrigerated” held above 45F in reach-in cooler in downstairs kitchen.
  • Observed date mark sticker is illegible on chicken broth.
  • Observed onion sauce from 11/14 in reach in cooler.
  • Observed stickers for products from up top 6 days ago in prep-top cooler in upstairs kitchen with times and dates.
  • Observed first aid supplies stored on shelf above prep top cooler and prep table.

#1 Cheddars (they also had the worst score last month)

Scored 71.5 (B) on 11/7/2018

They had the following critical violations;

  • Observed food employees turning off faucet with clean bare hands.
  • Observed food employees putting on gloves without doing a handwash.
  • Observed no paper towels at bar handsink.
  • Observed no handwash sign at bar handsink and also at handsink on front line in kitchen.
  • Observed slicer visibly soiled.
  • Observed mixer visibly soiled.
  • Observed plates and bowls on cook line soiled with food debris.
  • In walk in cooler observed pico cooling at a rate of 0.06.
  • Observed cooked chicken tenders hot holding at a temperature range of 115F-122F.
  • Observed cooked shrimp holding at 120F-123F.
  • Observed shredded cheese in flip top unit at 50F.
  • In walk-in cooler, observed rice not date marked.
  • In bar area observed bartender using cleaning soultion to clean bar. Bucket with cleaning solution was not labeled.
  • Observed employees not recording hot holding temperatures for potato soup after each batch pulled from thermalizer per HACCP plan.
  • Observed incomplete cooling records for food on 11.01 and observed blank page for one day without any indication if no hot food prep or temperatures listed for cooling logs.

As of November 30th, 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.