Charlotte’s 10 Worst Restaurant Health Scores in August 2022


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).

These were the top 10 worst inspection scores in Charlotte for August, 2022;

#10 Dunkin Donuts 

Scored 89 (B) on 8/12/2022

They had the following violations;

  • Observed facility without a certified food protection manager present.
  • Observed employee health policy posted on walk in cooler door. When two food employees were asked about the employee health policy they did not know what it was or where to find it.
  • Observed no written procedures for vomit and diarrhea clean up.
  • Observed food employee washing and rinsing plastic bins and storing them as clean without sanitizing items.
  • Observed multiple items in the prep top/unit above 41F.
  • Observed eggs and hashbrowns without food employee could not say when they were opened.

#9 Cinergy

Scored 87.5 (B) on 8/24/2022

They had the following violations;

  • Observed no PIC on site, there was a kitchen manager but due to the high amount of FC violations there was no PIC that was ensuring food safety.
  • Observed no written vomit plan/procedure/kit on site.
  • Observed tortillas under unwashed tomatoes.
  • Observed dish machine running dishes at 131. After 30mins it went up to 148F. FE had been running dishes through without testing temp. They have a 3-comp sink but due to the high amount of cleaning violations and FC violations EHS is not confident they could run properly without it.
  • Observed almost 100 dishes that had sticker residue and food debris.
  • Slicer had heavy food build-up on the blade and underneath.
  • Observed marinara sauce holding at 123F.
  • Observed no written procedures for timestamps and no written procedures.
  • Observed sanitizer in the bar sink above EHS test strips limits.

#8 Bojangles 

Scored 87.5 (B) on 8/3/2022 (rescored to 95.5 on 8/10)

They had the following violations;

  • Observed PIC wash hands and turn off faucet with no barrier.
  • Observed raw ham and raw bacon stored above bottles of water in WIC.
  • Observed food handler with three layers of gloves at biscuit station wash working bottle of sauce off at three comp sink and return to biscuit station, wipe counters off, wipe sink off, and only discard gloves when instructed by EHS to do so.
  • Observed black build-up on interior of ice bin in back.
  • Observed food handler place metal pans on drying shelf and stated they were clean upon questioning.
  • Observed spray bottle of cleaner stored next to container of grits and over chicken flour container.
  • Observed live insects

#7 Gus Sir Beef

Scored 86.5 (B) on 8/17/2022

They had the following violations;

  • Observed no paper towels at men’s bathroom.
  • Observed soiled meat grinder stored as clean.
  • Observed salad cold holding above 41F after cooling for four hours.
  • Observed raw flounder, raw ground beef, raw chicken breast, and potato salad cold holding above 41F.
  • Observed no date mark on potato salad and slaw.
  • Observed roaches crawling on floor in kitchen near grill line.

#6 Cava

1055 METROPOLITAN AVE, Charlotte NC 28208
Scored 86 (B) on 8/15/2022

They had the following violations;

  • Observed numerous food pans stored as clean with food residue and/or label adhesive transfer present on interior food contact surface.
  • Observed bulk container lemon tahini cooling at 46f at 12:05 still at 46f at 12:45.
  • Observed cooked chicken holding in well on front line at 119f and rice holding in cabinet at back line at 125f.
  • Observed various TCS foods in cold holding wells on front line with holding temperatures above 41f including feta cheese, lentils, cut tomatoes, tomato/cucumber mix, dill yogurt sauce.
  • Observed numerous cooling TCS foods in WIC using improper methods including various house TCS sauces cooling in deep bulk plastic containers sealed with lids, various other TCS items including cut tomatoes, hummus, eggplant, falafel and Moore in pans covered with wraps or lids and/or stacked on top of one another and/or tightly stored on shelf blocking air flow.

#5 Barcelona Wine Bar

Scored 85 (B) on 8/31/2022 

They had the following violations;

  • Observed overall lack of managerial control in kitchen as evidenced by hand washing, bare hand contact, hot holding, etc.
  • Observed various employee drinks stored on prep tops and above facility food items throughout facility.
  • Observed food employee juicing lemons at bar while using personal cell phone. Employee switched back and forth between using cell phone and juicing lemons.
  • Observed food employee juicing lemons bare handed at bar while using personal cell phone. Employee switched back and forth between using their phone and juicing lemons.
  • Observed no paper towels at back hand sink and bar hand sink.
  • Observed few shell stock tags without dates. Observed few shell stock tags out of order.
  • Observed no parasite destruction letter for raw salmon and tilapia present in facility during inspection.
  • Observed containers holding beef stacked together with non-food contact surface of pan contacting food items below.
  • Observed few containers of stock on stove holding between 90-110F.
  • Observed potatoes held on TPHC with no time marking.
  • Observed consumer advisory asterisk missing from steak frites served undercooked on menu.

#4 Boston Market

Scored 85 (B) on 8/15/2022 

They had the following violations;

  • Observed no PIC present at beginning of inspection.
  • Observed food employee unable to list symptoms and was unaware of employee health flyer posted near hand sink.
  • Observed food employee wash their hands for a total of 6 seconds.
  • Observed food employee enter facility and start to put on gloves to work with food without washing their hands.
  • Observed food employee touch their face and attempt to start working with food.
  • Observed hand sink near front area with no soap in dispenser.
  • Observed no paper towels at front hand sink or back handsink.
  • Observed multiple plastic bins with food and sticker residue.
  • Observed metal skewers for chicken with food residue.
  • Observed chicken with a final cook temperature of 155F.
  • Observed multiple items that were reheated in the microwave and placed on the hot bar. Temperatures were below 165F. Items were placed back into the microwave and reheated to above 165F.
  • Observed stuffing and chicken and dumplings below 165F and were reheated 2 hours ago.
  • Observed gravy in hot box below 135F.
  • Observed sliced tomato and cut lettuce in prep unit without dates and cooked chicken without dates.

#3 Hot Taco

Scored 84.5 (B) on 8/9/2022 (rescored to 94.5 on 9/1)

They had the following violations;

  • Observed overall lack of control in kitchen as evidenced by hand washing violations, date marking violations, bare hand contact of ready to eat food items, hand sink supply, along with various other critical violations.
  • Observed one employee drink stored on prep table on cook line.
  • Observed employee eating chips from chip dispenser.
  • Observed food employee place dirty dishes in dish machine, turn on hand sink, rinse one single hand, turn off faucet with bare hands, and dry hands on pants.
  • Observed food employee eating chips from chip station with bare hands, drop off dirty dishes at dish machine, then move to food expo line without washing hands.
  • Observed dish employee switching between dirty dishes and clean dishes without washing hands.
  • Observed employee change trash bag, then move to handle clean dishes without first washing hands.
  • Observed several employees handling personal cellphones and moving to handle food without washing hands.
  • Observed employee eating chips directly out of chip dispenser with out gloves on.
  • Observed no soap present at dish area hand sink.
  • Observed no soap at bar hand sink.
  • Observed no paper towels at bar hand sink.
  • Observed no paper towels at hand sink by chip station.
  • Observed rotting lettuce with brown buildup/juice in bottom of bag.
  • Observed raw tilapia stored above RTE ground beef.
  • Observed black buildup present in ice machine.
  • Observed creamer holding at 44F in reach in cooler.
  • Observed salsa holding at 44F in ice bath.
  • Observed food items in walk in cooler reading 42-43F.
  • Observed pico, cheese, roasted peppers, and roasted vegetables without dates marked.
  • Observed tomato based ranchero sauce held past 7 day date marking requirement.
  • Observed label missing from sanitizer at bar.

#2 Krispy Krunchy Chicken

Scored 82 (B) on 8/18/2022

They had the following violations;

  • Observed FE wash hands for less than 10 seconds, then dry.
  • Observed FE touching raw chicken then go to clean surfaces.
  • Observed RTE biscuits stored under raw chicken tops.
  • Observed sanitizer in the sink and the bottle at 10PPM.
  • Observed 2 sauce containers (PIC explained they use them for RTE wings) stored on the shelf below where raw chicken was being prepped. EHS observed raw chicken juice running down onto the bottom shelf.
  • Observed potato wedges on time with no time stamp.

#1 Cottage Restaurant

Scored 75.5 (C) on 8/29/2022

They had the following violations;

  • Observed employee smoking at while working at grill.
  • Observed employee smoking while at grill, when asked employee went outside to dispose of the cigarette, and upon reentry of the facility the employee went back to working at the grill without washing hands.
  • Observed bugs in flour.
  • Observed raw chicken and beef over buckets of sauces and other ready to eat foods that were slightly opened.
  • Observed bags of flour and dry rice with the top cut off and no lid or covering to protect food.
  • Observed employee washing dishes without using sanitizer. PIC corrected employee and put sanitizer in 3rd compartment of 3-compartment sink. EHS later observed pans soaking in sanitizer were over filled so half of the utensils were not in contact with sanitizer.
  • Observed debris build up and bugs in ice machine needs cleaning.
  • Observed residue and build up on new cutting board which was being used to line shelves at dry storage area.

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.