Charlotte’s 10 Worst Restaurant Health Scores In April 2019

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Even though the Charlotte region’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 were the top 10 worst inspection scores in Mecklenburg County for the month of April:

#10 Outback Steakhouse

1412 EAST BLVD, CHARLOTTE NC 28203
Scored 91 (A) on 4/13/2019

They had the following violations;

  • Food employee observed wiping face with hands then handling containers of prepped food.
  • Observed pan of hamburger patties over steaks in reach in cooler.
  • Observed unwashed asparagus, cucumbers and other produce in the walk in cooler above ready to eat foods/clean produce.
  • Observed quat ammonia solution in sanitizer buckets from 0-100 ppm.
  • Observed lettuce cooling in the walk in cooler (start cooling time of 10:00 am) at 63F at 1:08 pm. At 1:30 pm, the lettuce was at 62F.
  • Observed au jus at steam well at 128F. Au jus was in a pan that was not surrounded by hot water in well.
  • Observed buttermilk ranch dressing on ice bath at 45F. Observed cut cabbage mix for slaw at fry prep station at 46F. Observed cut lettuce in salad holding bin at 47F. Observed ahi tuna at 43F.
  • Observed lettuce cooling in large lexan pan tightly covered with lid.
  • Observed fettuccine noodles cooling in large lexan pan tightly covered with lid.

#9 Green’s Lunch

309 W FOURTH ST, CHARLOTTE NC 28202
Scored 90 (A) on 4/17/2019

They had the following violations;

  • Observed no certified food protection manager on site during inspection.
  • Through discussion, employee was unaware of foodborne illnesses and could name 2 symptoms.
  • Observed employees wash hands and recontaminate them by turning off the faucet with bare hands.
  • Observed employee wash hands for less than 15 seconds.
  • Observed raw bacon stored over onions in walk in cooler.
  • Observed can opener blade with food debris on it.
  • Observed hot dogs cooling at a rate of 0F/min.
  • Observed coleslaw cooling at a rate of .033F/min.
  • Observed hotdogs and eggs stored on counter above 41F. Hotdogs were 50F and eggs were 45F.
  • Observed livermush and potatoes in prep top above chill line above 41F.

#8 Little Caesar’s #1240-0031

10223 UNIVERSITY CITY BLVD, CHARLOTTE NC 28213
Scored 87.5 (B) on 4/9/2019 (rescored a 94.5 on 4/23)

They had the following critical violations;

  • Manager on duty was not familiar with employee health policy and their requirement to report illnesses and symptoms to PIC.
  • No hand soap available in employee restroom.
  • Observed food debris/residue build-up on pans and containers stored as clean on the drying rack.
  • Observed food residue build-up on can opener.
  • Observed multiple food items in prep cooler without date labels.
  • Observed food debris/residue build-up on food prep tables.

#7 KFC/Taco Bell #22 

9030 LAWYERS RD., CHARLOTTE NC 28227
Scored 87 (B) on 4/10/2019

They had the following violations;

  • Observed buildup on cutting boards at prep line.
  • Observed raw chicken in standing water that is thawed at 63F.
  • Observed time paper not with grilled or fried chicken prepared during previous shift.
  • Observed sewer backup at chicken thaw sink.

#6 Jasmin Grill

5033 SOUTH BLVD, CHARLOTTE NC 28217
Scored 87 (B) on 4/8/2019 (they also scored an 87 last month)

They had the following violations;

  • Observed employee rinse hands in 3 compartment sink instead of properly washing in the hand sink.
  • Observed only hand sink in the kitchen blocked by dirty utensils/pots/bins.
  • Observed raw chicken skewers stored above raw beef in walk-in cooler.
  • Employee did not sanitize cutting board after washing.
  • Foods at the front cold hold unit were temping at 45F-47F.

#5 America’s Best Wings

9630 UNIVERSITY CITY BV, CHARLOTTE NC 28278
Scored 87 (B) on 4/8/2019 (rescored a 92.5 (A) on 4/22)

They had the following violations;

  • Observed employee beverages stored in food prep area with exposed food.
  • Mens and womens restroom did not have hand soap at handsinks.
  • Observed multiple utensils stored in handsink in cooking area.
  • Observed food debris on plastic containers stored as clean.
  • Observed dried food debris on tomato slicer.
  • Observed dried food debris on slicer.
  • Observed heavy build-up on soda fountain nozzles.
  • Observed cooked chicken wings stored at fryers > 41F.
  • Observed crab sticks stored in prep area > 41F.

#4 Bar B Q King

2900 WILKINSON BLVD, CHARLOTTE NC 28203
Scored 86 (B) on 4/17/2019

They had the following violations;

  • Observed food employees are uneducated on when to wash hands. Food employees do not wash hands inbetween switching gloves, working with raw shrimp, or wash hands after coming back inside the facility to begin food preparation.
  • Observed no handwashing sign at handsink.
  • Observed employees are not switching gloves when needed.
  • Observed dried food debris and old stickers on food contact surfaces.
  • Observed old food debris on slicer.
  • Observed food employees are not fully cooking raw hamburgers on flat top stove, then holding hot on flat top stove. Flat top stove holding does not reach 155F for a final cook temperature. Burgers were holding at 120F.
  • Observed slaw prepared this morning stored in large bulk container not meeting time/temperature cooling criteria for cooling in the walkin cooler.
  • Observed items at the hot well in the temperature danger zone. Refer to temperature chart.
  • Observed product stored at the prep unit in the temperature danger zone.
  • Observed a bucket of sanitizer not labeled.

#3 La Belle Helene

300 S TRYON ST, CHARLOTTE NC 28202
Scored 83.5 (B) on 4/25/2019

They had the following critical violations;

  • Observed overall gaps in control throughout kitchen with regards to cooling, handwashing, bare hand contact, cold holding, and glove usage.
  • Observed employee handle raw proteins with gloved hands, doff gloves, and then immediately handle plates for customers and ready to eat foods.
  • Observed employee don gloves immediately after leaving the station and not washing hands.
  • Observed employee bare hand tomatoes onto burger setups.
  • Observed ice dumped in handsink at the dish area.
  • Observed unwashed produce over ready to eat foods in the walk in cooler. CDI: Products rearranged. Observed comingling of washed and unwashed citrus in the walk in.
  • Observed onion soup cooling at a rate of 0F/min and .08F/min in first cooling parameter.
  • Observed vegetable stock cooling in ice at a rate of .026F/min.
  • Observed TCS foods in pastry reach in cooler above 41F.
  • Observed several items in the prep top cooler date marked all for today. Items were prepared on various other days.
  • Observed no time marking on food items held on TPHC. Observed items held on TPHC past 4 hours still in service drawer.

#2 Urban Brick’s Pizza

210 E Trade St., CHARLOTTE NC 28208
Scored 82.5 (B) on 4/16/2019

They had the following violations;

  • Through discussion with employees, one employee was able to name some symptoms and 2 illnesses. Employees stated it is part of their onboarding packet but they do not remember the information.
  • Observed employee drink stored on prep table, during prep.
  • Observed employees wash hands for less than 15 seconds and use bare hands to turn off faucet several times during inspection.
  • Observed employees don gloves several times with no handwash.
  • Observed employee adjust clothing and immediately don gloves and make food several times.
  • Observed boxes of unwashed produce stored above ready to eat items in the walk in cooler. Storage order sticker provided today.
  • Observed employee wear gloves from pizza prep, to register/money-handling, to boxing and topping pizza with no glove change.
  • Observed black and pink build up on front of deflector plate on ice machine and on ice chute of coke machine.
  • Observed pasta cooling at a rate of 0F in walk in cooler. CDI: Item separated/spread out for cooling.
  • Observed several containers of chicken, mozzarella, romaine, pizza, and spinach cooling at rates of 0F/min. Products were uncovered and cooled at rates of .1F/min, but only had 30 min left in the cooling time, per prep labels.
  • Observed several food items above 41F. Items were being stored on a metal cart outside of the walk in. Employee who was preparing items stated that the cart had been out for 3 minutes total, for the whole day. The food items were 57F-64F throughout the cart.
  • Observed pasta salad in prep top with no date mark. Pasta was made yesterday.
  • Observed sanitizer bucket stored on prep table when not in use.
  • Observed ibuprofen sitting at bar in container above prep area.

#1 La Lonchera Latapatia 

10703 PARK RD, CHARLOTTE NC 28210
Scored 72.5 (C) on 4/3/2019

They had the following violations;

  • No employee present was able to discuss an employee health policy.
  • Observed employee drinks stored on food prep areas and cutting boards.
  • Observed employees handle trash, money, soiled utensils and then done gloves without a hand wash.
  • Observed employees enter the unit and don gloves without a hand wash.
  • Observed food prep occurring on top of the hand sink. A cutting board was observed on top of the hand sink with active food prep occurring.
  • Observed soiled utensils stored clean according to the employees.
  • Observed a large 5 gallon container of salsa at 109F cooling on the counter. 60 minutes after the first temperature the item was at 98F. At this rate the item would not meet the first cooling parameter.
  • Observed no dates on small green salsa containers, cut tomatoes, slaw, cut lettuce, small red salsa containers, RTE pork, and RTE steak.
  • Observed a bucket of sanitizer with wiping cloths inside not properly labeled.
  • Observed hood system, cold holding, and cooking equipment in need of cleaning due to grease residue build up and food debris build up.

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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