Charlotte’s 10 Worst Restaurant Health Scores In August 2019


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 Charlotte for the month of August:

#10 Futo Buta

Scored 87 (B) on 8/16/2019

They had the following violations;

  •  Observed overall lack of control throughout facility as evidenced by poor cold holding, improper TPHC procedures, improper storage order, and improper cooling methods.
  • Observed employee move from handling dirty dishes to clean dishes and changed gloves, but without washing hands.
  • Observed handwashing sink at back inaccessible due to proximity of reach in freezer.
  • Observed raw salmon stored over ready to eat foods in the walk in cooler on the speed rack.
  • Observed soup cooling in walk in cooler for 1.5 hours at 109F.
  • Observed cabbage 4 hours after being cut at 60F.
  • Observed fried rice cake holding at 107F on top of smoker.
  • Observed both front prep top coolers holding food above 41F and 45F.
  • Observed sushi prep top cooler holding food above 41F, but below 45F.
  • Observed walk in cooler holding food items above 41F and some above 45F.
  • Observed yuzu mayo from 8/2 and 8/3 in reach in.
  • Observed seaweed salad from 7/31 in walk in cooler.

#9 Harper’s Restaurant  

Scored 86 (A) on 8/2/2019 (rescored to 94 on 8/6)

They had the following violations;

  • Observed employee use the prep sink instead of the hand wash sink to wash hands.
  • Observed several pans and the tomato chopper stored with food debris.
  • Observed 0ppm of chlorine sanitizer at the dish machine.
  • Observed salmon burger not fully cooked to the correct temperature of 145F.
  • Observed corn hot holding below 135F in the back up hot holding unit.
  • Observed the pizza prep cooler on the left and the two tall reach in coolers on the cook line holding product above 41F. Also observed the baked chicken and tomatoes above 41F at the 4th man station.
  • Observed several items in the prep walk in cooler past their time/temperature date marking requirements. Also observed a sweet corn mix that did not have a thaw date noted.
  • Observed employee cigarettes sitting on salad box on the cook line.

#8 Amruth Vilas

Scored 86 (B) on 8/15/2019

They had the following critical violations;

  • No one in facility certified as Food Protection Manager.
  • Employee washed hands at prep sink with no use of soap, and turned faucets off with bare hands.
  • Found raw chicken and raw shell eggs stored over ready-to-eat food in walk-in.
  • Unwashed produce stored over ready-to-eat produce.
  • Significant dried residue on blade of can opener. Heavy food residue on cutting utensils stored as clean on wall mounted holders.
  • No discernible date marking system in place in the facility.
  • Several bottles of all-purpose cleaner not labeled.

#7 Curry N Cake

Scored 86 (B) on 8/23/2019

They had the following violations;

  • Observed employee water bottle stored on rack above prep cooler and employee water bottle stored on tray next to single service items.
  • Observed two very deep and tightly covered pans of white rice in fridge at 45-47 degrees that appear to have not properly cooled overnight (over 6 hrs of cooling).
  • Observed 5 containers of Biryani rice cooked 3 days ago according to PIC that were not date marked.
  • Observed tub of peeled onions stored on floor in kitchen.

#6 American Deli 

Scored 86 (B) on 8/27/2019 (rescored to 95.5 on 9/5)

They had the following violations;

  • Upon arrival, observed no person in charge in the facility.
  • Observed no one on site with clear knowledge of the employee health policy.
  • Observed food employees not turning off faucets with a barrier such as a paper towel.
  • Observed food employees going from raw food to ready to eat food without a handwash.
  • Observed food employees reporting to work, putting on gloves, and preparing food without a handwash.
  • Observed food debris in both hand sinks.
  • Observed rice in a rice cooker at 88F. The rice had been left in the cooker from the previous day.
  • Observed raw philly meat stored on top of fruit punch in the walk in cooler.
  • Observed several containers of wing sauces left from the previous night on the back shelf.
  • Observed the ice machine in the back kitchen with black residue.
  • Observed containers stored over the ice machine bin with food debris.
  • Observed a utensil holder storing knives with grease and water inside.
  • Observed no date marking throughout the entire facility.
  • Observed two bottles of chemicals not labeled.

#5 Hickory Tavern

Scored 85.5 (B) on 8/1/2019 (rescored to 96.5 on 8/16)

They had the following violations;

  • Observed two food employees wash hands at kitchen handsink and not use a clean barrier to turn off faucet.
  • Observed food employee scrub hands for less than 15 seconds.
  • Observed trash can blocking handsink at grill in.
  • Observed two shell-shock tags out of chronological order and one tag with date missing.
  • Mac and cheese and rice were in individually portioned bags with top portion of container reading above 41F. Bags at bottom portion of container were 41F and below.
  • Observed the following food items not date marked: lettuce(2), spinach, milk(3), corn salsa, pico de gallo, field greens, queso, and marinara.

#4 Godavari Truly South Indian 

Scored 85.50 (B) on 8/15/2019 (rescored to 84 on 9/4)

They had the following violations;

  • Observed no Certified food protection manager on site.
  • No paper towels provided at any handsink.
  • Observed cutting boards not being cleaned every 4 hours.
  • Observed par-cooked foods sitting on counter at 71F, marninating foods at 71/72F, chicken wings sitting on counter at 71F. All items were brought out for prep and then neglected.
  • Observed large containers of curry and marsala cooked then put into 5 gallon containers, then covered.
  • Observed walk-in cooler with ambient air temp at 46F, did not get colder. Food from 3 days ago at 46-49F.
  • Observed PIC using time on buffet with no written procedures, does have time stamps and keeps those records but no clear written procedures.
  • Observed several flies in kitchen and back door is cracked open.

#3 Yume Bistro

Scored 85 (B) on 8/29/2019 (rescored to 94.5 on 9/6)

They had the following violations;

  • Observed employee handle raw sushi for frying and change gloves, but not wash hands before working with ready to eat foods.
  • Observed employee handle dirty dishes and then clean dishes with no handwash.
  • Observed surf clams with no invoice that could be provided.
  • Observed no shellstock tag for surf clams that PIC stated were purchased on Tuesday.
  • Observed no shellstock tags for mussels.
  • Observed no recording of when last of each oyster batch was sold on tags that have been retained.
  • Observed raw chicken stored over raw pork in walk in freezer out of commercial packaging.
  • Observed raw chicken, pork, fish, and mussels stored over ready to eat items in walk in cooler. Raw pork and chicken stored over ready to eat items in reach in.
  • Observed unwashed produce stored over ready to eat items in reach in.
  • Observed sheucked oyster shells for use with sushi dishes.
  • Observed ice machine with pink build up.
  • Observed eggs cooling in prep top cooler at a rate of .06F/min.
  • Observed mackerel hot holding below 135F.
  • Observed far right reach in cooler at sushi station holding above 41F.
  • Observed items in prep top coolers on line holding above 41F.
  • Observed mango sauce from 8/25 above 41F but below 45F.
  • Observed house made tartar sauce from 8/18.
  • Observed tori broth from 8/7 in walk in.
  • Observed no date marks on egg, tofu, masago, kani, or kani salad.
  • Observed no time marked for sushi rice held on TPHC.
  • Observed no procedures or time marked for “kitchen” rice held on TPHC.

#2 Essex Bar and Bistro

Scored 83 (B) on 8/19/2019

They had the following violations;

  • Observed no certified food protection manager present at the beginning of the inspection.
  • Observed employee actively eating and drinking while prepping bread on the prep top tables.
  • Observed employee handling cooked bread from the fire-oven after baking in RTE (ready-to-eat) form. NO BARE HAND CONTACT IS ALLOWED.
  • Observed no paper towels at back hansink by mixer. Ensure to provide paper towels or an approved hand drying method at all handsinks.
  • Observed 5 lemons with green/white growth stored in a box with other lemons.
  • Observed facility not maintaining shellstock tags for mussels by writing the day of last sold shellstock. Observed multiple shellstock tags without date labeled from last shellstock sold. Observed missing shellstock tags for July-August.
  • Observed raw veal meatballs stored above raw octopus in the grill pull drawers.
  • Observed raw beef stored above RTE foods in the reach in freezer.
  • Observed large amount of sticker labels and sticker residue on stacked metal containers. Observed clean cutting boards stored on the floor of the kitchen by the hand sink.
  • Observed two prep top pull drawers cold holding TCS foods at 50-58F (see temp chart).
  • Observed several food items such as bean sprouts, goat cheese, and cooked meatballs without a date labels.
  • Observed grilled onions (dated 8/9), cooked mushrooms (dated 8/9), falafel (dated 8/9), and cooked veal meatballs (dated 7/22) held past 7 days.

#1 Lee Boiling Seafood 

Scored 81.5 (C) on 8/22/2019 (rescored to 94 on 9/5)

They had the following violations;

  • Observed food employee prep raw shrimp on grill, switch gloves prior to working with other cooking utensils and food prep without hand washing occurring in between.
  • Observed hose from outside being connected directly to hand sink near dish storage, observed hand sinks near bar station, waiter station and grill line missing paper towels and soap. Also observed ice inside of basin of hand sink in waiter station.
  • Observed raw salmon being stored over RTE foods inside of reach in 2 door unit. Observed raw oysters and raw eggs being stored over RTE foods in walk in cooler. Also observed raw foods being stored over oysters and other RTE foods in walk in cooler.
  • Soiled dishes were being stored as cleaned. Stickers films were still stored on dishes that were stored as cleaned.
  • Ice machine contained mold buildup along interior chute.
  • Baked potatoes and cooked corn cobs were being stored at ambient air temps after PIC stated the intent of these items are to be stored hot.
  • Observed cooked crab that were cold holding >41 degrees F. Also observed boiled eggs cold holding in cold hold unit >41 degrees. House made sauce tcs sauce was cold holding out at ambient air.
  • Tomatoes soup in walk in cooler was not dated and was made from 2 days prior. Cooked sausage inside of cold hold unit also was not properly dated.
  •  Facility is dipping raw proteins inside of flour without the flour being under time or temperature control.
  • Facility does not have undercooked foods marked with asterisk which refers customers back to consumer advisory on menus.
  • A chemical substance that was used as a disinfectant for cleaning hood filters etc was stored inside of a bottle labeled sanitizer.

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.