10 Worst Charlotte Restaurant Health Scores in October


charlotte-health-inspection-scoresEven 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 October but were reinspected with higher scores before November 4th):

#10 Don Julio Sport Bar & Grill

Shoutout to #donjulio for showing mad love with the plate!!! #platanomaduro con pollo!

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3133 E. Independance Blvd., Charlotte, NC
Scored 90 (A) on 10/18/2017

They had the following critical violations;

  • Observed raw chicken in a pan, on a rack, stored above bottled drinks and mixers.
  • Bottled drinks below were observed to be free of raw chicken debris.
  • Observed hot dogs and chili not date marked.
  • Observed Cl sanitizer above 200 ppm and bleaching the strip.

#9 Sithara

A+ food and customer service. They are so nice!

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9609 N. Tryon St., Charlotte, NC
Scored 90 (A) on 10/5/2017

They had the following critical violations;

  • Observed food items in walk-in cooler without cover.
  • Observed bulk dry food containers without lids.
  • Observed open bags of dry food.
  • Observed food debris on plates stored as clean on the drying rack.
  • Observed several wet stacked containers on the drying rack.

#8 Cottage Express

630 W. 24th St., Charlotte, NC
Scored 90 (A) on 10/17/2017

They had the following critical violations;

  • Observed employee only rinse hands at prep sink, not use handwash sink, not use soap, or towels.
  • Observed vacuum packed raw pork stored in tub of raw chicken.
  • Observed a number of items stored in walk in cooler not covered: raw meats, washed veggies, cooked chicken pieces, etc.
  • Observed 2 pans of wings cooked and cooling for approx. 2 hrs according to PIC at 108 degrees.
  • Observed bean sprouts opened yesterday that PIC said is kept more than 24 hrs.

#7 Stoke Restaurant & Bar

Was so {stoked} about my dinner last night | Duck with grilled peaches and popcorn, Mexican corn, and Sticky pork shank | Charlotte, NC

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100 W. Trade St., Charlotte, NC
Scored 90 (A) on 10/16/2017

They had the following critical violations;

  • Observed employee wash hands and then dry them with a cloth that he had been using for several other tasks.
  • Observed employee go to don gloves with no handwash.
  • Observed utensils stored in handwashing sink.
  • Observed unwashed produce stored over washed produce.
  • Observed employee move from dirty dishes to clean dishes with no glove change or handwash.
  • Observed sticker residue on several pans stored as clean.
  • Observed plastic wrap still on pans stored as clean.
  • Observed microgreens on the line stored at room temperature.
  • Observed employees prepping chicken with entire sheet rack out at room temperature.
  • Observed duck confit and roasted corn date marked 10/9-10/15 in cooler drawers.
  • Observed asterisked consumer advisory statement to be unclear.

#6 Shoney’s

They still have a #Shoneys #breakfast

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8531 N. Tryon St., Charlotte, NC
Scored 90 (A) on 10/23/2017

They had the following critical violations;

  • Observed an employee wash hands in the prep sink. (stopped employee and explained that hand washing can only be done in the hand sink.)
  • Later in the inspection, the same employee washed hands in the same prep sink again.
  • Observed an employee work with dirty dishes with bare hands then touch clean dishes without properly washing hands.
  • Observed raw pooled eggs stored above pancake batter (flour and water) in the prep unit by the fryers.
  • Observed a box of unwashed collard greens stored above cooked items in the walk-in cooler.
  • Observed a bag of soup in the walk in cooler at 49F.
  • Observed rice being saved for later use after being held on TPHC on the buffet.

#5 Little China

Some chinese to Go!

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2801 South Blvd., Charlotte, NC
Scored 90 (A) on 10/25/2017

They had the following critical violations;

  • Observed PIC without being certified in a food protection manager course.
  • Observed dishwashing employee handle soiled dishware and then clean dishware.
  • Observed an employee handle raw chicken and attempt to handle RTE egg roles.
  • Observed an employee touching their face and clothes while attempting to prepare food.
  • Observed wontons being covered with rags in a container.
  • Observed chicken legs and cooked muscles at 113-120F.

#4 Jason’s Deli

Now that’s a #salad

A post shared by CJ (@plain_cj) on

10610 Centrum Parkway, Pineville, NC
Scored 88 (B) on 10/4/2017

They had the following critical violations;

  • Observed dish machine not providing required concentration of chlorine for sanitizer and observed bucket empty.
  • Observed cut lettuce overstocked at prep line above 45 degrees F.
  • Observed walk-in cooler with air temperature of 54 degrees F and all TCS foods were between 47 and 53 degrees F.
  • Observed cleaning agents stored with equipment on storage rack.

#3 Lorenzo’s Pizzeria

16721 Orchard Stone Run, Charlotte, NC
Scored 86 (B) on 10/26/2017

They had the following critical violations;

  •  Observed food employee not washing for long enough at back hand sink.
  • Observed raw beef meat tube being stored on cutting board at flip top unit where food employee was actively preparing ready to eat food such as salads and chicken parmesan.
  • Observed can opener heavily soiled.
  • Observed slicer with lint on it; most likely from where towel drying occurred.
  • Observed 5 strombolis, more than 12 calzones with cheese and sausage that were cold holding above 45 degrees.
  • Observed meatballs, ham and sauce in walk in cooler without a label on it.
  • Observed eggplant at reach in unit without a label on it.
  • Observed heavy cream without a date mark on it.
  • Observed milk in wic without a date marking.
  • Observed employee PEPTO BISMOL and COLD MEDICINE being stored on dry storage with food ingredients and above.

#2 Las Meras Tortas

#lunchgoals #laschidas #puerco

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5661 Farm Pond Ln., Charlotte, NC
Scored 85.5 (B) on 10/19/2017

They had the following critical violations;

  • Observed employee rinse hands for a few seconds then use bare hands to turn off water faucets at hand sink.
  • No paper towels at handsinks upon entry; wiping cloth and drink pitcher in handsink by serving line.
  • Observed employee put on used single-use gloves after washing hands.
  • Meatballs in steam line and pork, beef, and refried beans in steam well all holding below 135F.
  • Pollo con crema, chicken, and ribs cooling from last night and still above 45F.
  • Lettuce overstocked in flip top and holding above 45F at top.

#1 China Express

What the hell are French frieds?? 😂

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315 S Polk St., Pineville, NC
Scored 83.5 (B) on 10/25/2017

They had the following critical violations;

  • Observed uncovered employee drink stored over equipment on high shelf in kitchen.
  • Observed employee handling soiled equipment then handle clean equipment without washing their hands in between.
  • Observed employee touch fried chicken with their bare hands.
  • Observed scrubbing pad and wet wiping cloth stored on hand washing sink.
  • Observed raw chicken stored with raw pork and ready to eat food in chest freezer.
  • Observed raw pork removed from commercial packaging and stored over ready to eat food in chest freezer
  • Observed raw shell eggs stored over ready to eat food and cooked foods in walk in unit.
  • Observed raw chicken package stored with raw pork in walk in unit.
  • Observed container of jalapeno stored on raw beef in prep unit.
  • Observed dishwasher washing equipment at 3 compartment sink at 104 degrees F and also scrubbing in rinse vat of sink after placing in wash vat.
  • Observed degreaser stored next to Pepsi drink product behind counter.

As of October 3rd, 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.